Wings Drop Season Opener in Halifax - Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse
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Wings Drop Season Opener in Halifax

The Philadelphia Wings showed room for improvement in Friday night’s season opener in Halifax, as the Thunderbirds’ high-powered offense produced 18 goals and the defense held the Wings to just eight of their own as the 2022-23 season got underway.

Halifax hit the ground running with 10 first-half goals, jumping ahead 10-2 by the latter minutes of the second quarter. The Thunderbirds got 14 of their 18 goals from four players – Eric Fannell and Clarke Petterson had four apiece, while Ryan Benesch and Chris Boushy each had three. At the other end of the floor, the Thunderbirds held the Wings to just 44 shots, which is the second time that’s happened – it ties a franchise record that was established when the two teams met in Hamilton last February, when Philadelphia had just 44 shots in a 10-8 setback.

Blaze Riorden burst onto the season for the Wings with five goals on the night, doing so on 11 shots. Matt Rambo had a pair of goals, also on 11 shots, and John Ranagan chipped in the other. But it seemed the Wings’ offense may need a bit more time to master its execution under new offensive coordinator Jeff McComb. The hope is a game’s worth of action and film study over the coming bye week will allow them to do just that.

Zach Higgins and Angus Goodleaf split the game in net, with Higgins allowing nine goals on 17 shots in 17:06 on the floor; Goodleaf picked up Higgins on a tough night with 24 saves on 33 shots in 42:54 of action.

Regardless of the score, the results only count as one game and there are 17 left, and certainly no NLL champion has ever peaked in December.  So the Wings will look to tighten things up over the next two weeks in preparation for a trip to Georgia to take on the Swarm on the 17th.

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