WINGS SWEEP WEEKEND, TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE
The Philadelphia Wings sprinted out to a 6-1 lead and withstood a New England comeback to pull out a 14-11 win over the Black Wolves on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. Matt Rambo scored a career-high six goals to set the foundation for the Wings, who won their second game in as many days to move into sole possession of first place in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division.
Rambo completed his hat trick before the Black Wolves got on the board. He started the game off with two goals in the first 89 seconds, putting the Wings on the board 55 seconds into the contest and following up with another at the 1:29mark. Brett Hickey made it 3-0 just under a minute and a half later, and Ryan Wagner scored with 6:30 left in the first quarter to give the Wings a 4-0 advantage after 15 minutes.
Rambo’s third goal of the game was shorthanded, coming 2:58 into the second quarter to make it 5-0. New England answered with a shorthanded tally of its own, but Josh Currier quickly restored the five-goal lead when he made it 6-1 at the 5:07 mark.
The Black Wolves settled down after that and kept the Wings off the board until well into the third quarter. New England picked up the game’s next five goals to tie things up at 6-6 beforeHickey restored Philadelphia’s advantage with 4:33 left in the third.
It was a back-and-forth affair for the next several minutes of action. New England scored the next two goals to go up 8-7, but Rambo and Kevin Crowley turned it to a 9-8 Wings lead with 8:50to play. After the Black Wolves tied it up once again, the Wings pulled ahead for good when Hickey completed his hat trick to make it 10-9 just past the halfway point of the quarter. Rambo quickly made it a two-goal game with his fifth of the night; New England then crept back within one but Rambo’s sixth made it 12-10 with 4:01 to play.
The Black Wolves soon pulled their goaltender to bring on an extra attacker, but it was the Wings that took advantage with two empty-net goals, one from Nick Finlay and one from Kiel Matisz, to make it 14-10. New England got one more in the final 15 seconds to close out the scoring.
Rambo had an assist along with his six goals for a seven-point game, while Hickey had three assists along with his hat trick for a six-point contest. Crowley also had a six-point game with five assists to go with his goal, and Blaze Riorden had a four-assist game. Currier finished with a goal and six assists. Trevor Baptiste won 20 of 29 faceoffs, and Zach Higgins earned the win with 50 saves while blanking New England for the first 19 minutes of the game.
The Wings improved their record to 7-3, becoming the NLL’s first seven-win team on the season. Their next action comes up on Saturday, February 22 when they host Saskatchewan on E-Sports Night at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets for that and all Wings home games are available at WingsLAX.com.
Game Highlight Melt