The Philadelphia Wings mounted a few comeback attempts against the Halifax Thunderbirds, but couldn’t make any of them stick in an eventual 10-8 setback at Wells Fargo Center. The loss put the Wings at 5-6 on the season and tightened up the race for the fourth automatic playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The first half went by in streaks of three, as Halifax scored the only three goals of the first quarter before the Wings potted three of their own to knot things up just under 10 minutes into the second frame. But Halifax grabbed three more in the final 5:02 of the frame to take a 6-3 lead into halftime. The circumstances came about thanks to a stellar first half from Halifax goaltender Warren Hill, who turned aside 25 of 28 Wings shots in the opening two frames.
Hill continued the antics through the third quarter, keeping the Wings off the board for the first 9:57 of the frame; however, Zach Higgins was just about as stingy at the other end as the clubs combined for just three third-period tallies. It was back and forth until Stephen Keogh scored twice in the span of 1:06 in the fourth quarter to open up the lead to 10-5.
That proved to be the difference as far as a lead the Wings could try to surmount – they had the final three tallies of the contest over a six-minute span, but after Ben McIntosh made it 10-8 with 3:17 to play, the Wings couldn’t get any closer over that final timespan.
Matt Rambo led the way for the Wings offensively with a hat trick and three assists for a six-point game, while Kevin Crowley bagged a goal and added four assists for five points. Ian Llord picked up his second goal of the season, while Kiel Matisz and Brett Hickey also found the back of the net.
Keogh recorded a hat trick and a five-point game for Halifax, whole Clarke Petterson had a goal and three assists for a four-point game. The second faceoff battle of the season between Trevor Baptiste and Jake Withers went right down the middle, winning 11 apiece.
The Wings are off again next week before they head on the road to take on the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Bandits on March 12.