The Philadelphia Wings locked step-for-step with the New York Riptide until New York pulled ahead ever so slightly late in the third quarter and held on the rest of the way to take a 13-12 win. The Wings ended up with a split of their back-to-back home weekend and now sit in third place in the Eastern Division at 4-3 on the season.
The Wings fired a franchise-record 68 shots at New York goaltender Stephen Orleman, but the netminder denied 56 of them to backstop his team to the win, 32 of which came in the first half. New York opened the scoring with the game’s first two goals before the Wings responded with three in a row. The back-and-forth continued through the rest of the quarter, resulting in a 4-4 tally after 15 minutes.
New York restored the two-goal advantage with another two-goal start to the second quarter, but the Wings then peeled off four in a row over the span of just over four minutes. However the Riptide responded with two more, including a tally with just seven seconds remaining, and it was 8-8 at the break.
The third quarter was where the Riptide made their move, scoring three times while holding the Wings to just one tally from Anthony Joaquim, keeping Philadelphia’s forwards off the board. That resulted in an 11-9 lead at the quarter break, and the Wings couldn’t pull any closer than a goal the rest of the way.
Corey Small notched a hat trick as part of a six-point game and Cory Vitarelli had one as well, adding two assists for a five point night. Small recorded his 700th career point in the effort, while Kevin Crowley notched his 400th assist as part of a five-point game (1G, 4A). Brett Hickey also had a five-point game (2G, 3A) and Joaquim’s goal was his second of the weekend. Kiel Matisz and Blaze Riorden, were the Wings’ other goal-scorers.
Besides Orleman, New York drew its strength from a seven-point night from Jeff Teat (1G, 6A) and a four-goal, five-point contest from Connor Kearnen. Tyson Gibson had two goals and two assists and Kieran McArdle contributed five helpers.
The Wings now will hit the road to visit Georgia next Saturday before returning home to host Toronto on February 5.