The addition of Mitch Jones to the Philadelphia Wings’ lineup seemed to be like adding the final stone to the Infinity Gauntlet – at least on this occasion against the Albany Firewolves.
While the Wings have to wait a couple weeks to see if that holds, they’ll be able to do so with a little weight off their shoulders after a dominating 13-5 victory at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night, their first on the home floor this season following three straight defeats.
Like other games this season in which the Wings have finished on the wrong end of the proceedings, the start was relatively quiet, with each team trading goals over the first 10 or so minutes. But late in the first quarter, the Wings started a 10-0 run that lasted all the way into the fourth quarter. It was anchored by a terrific night for Zach Higgins and the Philadelphia defense, which limited the Firewolves to just 44 shots on goal.
But the addition of Jones to the top of the Wings’ offense seemed to make everyone else around him better, starting with Joe Resetarits, who went off for a first-half hat trick as part of a four-goal, four-assist night. Jones had two goals and three assists himself, and it went around the horn from there – Ben McIntosh also had two goals and three assists, Sam LeClair and Blaze Riorden each had a pair, and Matt Rambo jumped into the party in the fourth quarter.
After Conor Kelly scored 7:45 into the game, Albany did not (legally) score again until the 6:14 mark of the fourth quarter. The Wings were leading 11-1 when Albany snuck two shorthaned goals past Higgins on the same Philadelphia power play. Kelly had two goals on the contest, including a late one, but transition player John LaFontaine was the only other multi-goal scorer, grabbing a pair; the other shorthanded goal went to Colton Watkinson. The Wings kept the rest of Albany’s offense off the scoreboard, including Kieran McArdle and Tanner Thomson, the owners of 10 and six goals on the season, respectively; each managed just a pair of assists on the contest.
Higgins finished the game with 39 saves on 44 shots, while Trevor Baptiste won every faceoff he took (22 for 22) and Ryan Wagner gobbled up 12 loose balls. Chad Tutton had an assist in his 100thcareer game.
The Wings have a light month over the rest of February, playing just one other contest on the 18th in Buffalo. They’ll be back at Wells Fargo Center for a pair of games the first weekend of March, the 4th and the 6th.