Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/2/08
After six wins to open the season, the bubble burst on the Philadelphia Wings.
The Wings led, 6-2, early in their game at Buffalo, but were outscored the rest of the way, 19-6, and dropped a 21-12 National Lacrosse League contest Saturday.
The defeat still left Philadelphia (6-1) one-half game ahead of Minnesota (6-2) atop the East Division.
“We knew this game was going to be a challenge being the second game in our first back-to-back weekend,” said Wings coach Dave Huntley, whose team had defeated New York, 16-12, the previous night. “We took a lot of bad penalties throughout the game. We had some opportunities to come back in the fourth, but Buffalo had a hot goaltender and we just couldn’t get back in the game.”
Philadelphia got off to a quick start, taking leads of 4-0 and 6-2 behind the league’s leading scorer, Athan Iannucci (four goals, one assist) and standout rookie Merrick Thomson (three goals, two assists).
But the Bandits’ Mark Steenhuis (four goals, six assists), Cory Bomberry (three goals, seven assists), Delby Powless (three goals, five assists), Roger Vyse (three goals, three assists) and Billy Dee Smith (three goals, one assist) led a strong charge.
Buffalo hit on five of seven power plays in the first half and outscored the Wings, 8-3, in the second period. Down 16-11 going into the fourth, Philadelphia had an opportunity to get back in the game when the Bandits’ Rich Kilgour received a five-minute major for high-sticking.
But former Wings goaltender Ken Montour (41 saves) seemed unbeatable, only allowing a single Philadelphia goal in the fourth quarter.
Also for the Wings, Jason Crosbie had five assists, Drew Westervelt had two goals and two assists, Geoff Snider had a goal and three assists, Jamie Rooney had a goal and two assists and Rob Van Beek added a goal. Goaltender Rob Blasdell had 27 saves in the first 53:02 of play and Jay Preece had eight in the final 6:57.
The Wings will return home next Saturday to face the Toronto Rock at 1 p.m.