The Philadelphia Wings erased a 9-5 second-quarter deficit to tie the game at 10-10 in the fourth quarter, but two goals from Randy Staats in the final four minutes gave the Georgia Swarm just enough extra room to squeak out a 12-11 win at the Wells Fargo Center.
Blaze Riorden scored the game’s first goal 57 seconds into the contest, but Georgia scored three in a row to take a 3-1 lead. Matt Rambo and Liam Byrnes tallied to knot the score, and the teams exchanged goals to get to 4-4 early in the second quarter with the Wings goal coming from Corey Vitarelli.
Georgia then scored five of the game’s next six goals to open up a 9-5 lead near the halfway point of the second quarter. The Wings got two of them back, fromJosh Currier and Kevin Crowley, after which a late Georgia goal made it 10-7 at halftime.
The second half was a different game, with the teams combining for just six goals and Wings goaltender Zach Higgins shutting Georgia out for more than 25 minutes after halftime. Crowley had the only tally of the third quarter, and then after Kiel Matisz scored 23 seconds into the fourth, Rambo made it 10-10 with 5:56 left to play. But Staats scored the next two tallies, and although Currier made it 12-11 with 1:01 left, it’s all the Wings could get past Georgia goaltender Mike Poulin the rest of the way.
Rambo led the way for the Wings with a seven-point game (2G, 5A) and also had seven shots on goal. Crowley had a five-point night (2G, 3A) and had 11 shots, while Currier had a hat trick and an assist and Matisz had a goal and three assists.
Higgins made 32 saves on the contest, including 12 of the 14 shots he saw in the second half. Poulin committed highway robbery on the Wings on several occasions especially in the second half, and ended up with 33 saves on 44 shots.
The Wings are now 5-3 on the season; they are off next week before resuming their schedule with a back-to-back road set on February 15 in Buffalo and February 16 in New England. The next home game is on 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.