Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/4/08
The Philadelphia Wings face a critical weekend in National Lacrosse League (NLL) play as they travel to Chicago to face the Shamrox on Saturday at the Sears Centre at 8:00 p.m. On Sunday (8 p.m.), the Wings will host the Toronto at the Wachovia Center.
The Wings defeated the Shamrox the first time the teams met in Chigao, 19-11, on Jan. 12. The Shamrox have improved as the 2008 season progressed by adding Cody Jacobs and former Wings goaltender Matt Roik to their 23-man roster.
“Their record in the last few games is more reflective the quality of the team that they are than what is was in their first few games,” said Wings coach Dave Huntley. “Matt has been terrific for them, as he was for us last year. Also,
“I have been really impressed by Jacobs; he put on quite a performance last weekend – so we will have our hands full this weekend.”
Jacobs has scored 11 goals in four games and was named the NLL Player of the Week for his performance against Minnesota. Jacobs has stepped up at a critical point in the season, after the announcement that Chris Panos will be out for the season due to injury.
In the second half of the weekend, the Wings will host The Rock in a game postponed last month due to inclement weather in Toronto. Just like the Shamrox the Rock have added offensive firepower with the acquisition of forward Lewis Ratcliff from Calgary in exchange for forward Josh Sanderson.
Although the Wings have lost three of their last four games they are focused on maintaining their style of play and will take on each challenge one at a time.
“If anything we’re going to play faster; because we’re the kind of team that if we play fast we do well,” said Huntley. “We’re very confident in the guys we have and we are comfortable with our playing style.”
The Wings (7-3) currently lead the NLL’s East Division by a half game over Minnesota, and forward Athan Iannuccci leads the league in goals scored at 46. Jake Bergey (24 goals, 23 assists), Merrick Thomson (17 goals, 16 assists) and Jamie Rooney (14 goals, 18 assists) have also made significant offensive contributions this season.