By Charles Kruzits
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/16/11
The Philadelphia Wings were looking to rebound from an opening-night loss Saturday night when they hosted the Buffalo Bandits at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Wings were coming off a disappointing 10-6 loss to the Boson Blazers, a game in which their offense stalled in the second half. But again, after a solid start, the Wings’ offense struggled as the game continued in a 9-6 defeat.
From the get-go against the Bandits, the two teams displayed an obvious dislike for each other as hard hitting and extra-curricular activity occurred often after the whistle. The Wings got on the board first when the UMBC duo of Brendan Mundorf and Drew Westervelt connected for a goal.
Westervelt went on to score his second goal in the first period to tie the game at 3-3. A major reason the game remained even was the strong play of Wings goalkeeper Brandon Miller, who flashed his “A” game and would finish with 41 saves.
The 7,764 fans at the Wells Fargo did their best to give the Wings a home-field advantage as they shouted W-I-N-G-S chants and other chants that are a little too profane to post.
The second and third period proved to be a defensive war as the Wings were held scoreless while the Bandits were able to score two goals and forge a 5-3 lead. Though the two periods were quiet in terms of goals, the physical play picked up largely in thanks to a bone-jarring hit from Wings speedster Max Seibald.
A Bandits player went for a loose ball against the boards and before he could turn his head Seibald delivered a monster check from behind that had the fans erupting with cheers. But Seibald was hit with a five-minute major for cross-checking that put Philadelphia in a lengthy man-down situation.
Down 5-3 entering the fourth period the Wings were looking for a anyway to get some positive momentum and it came when defender Ryan McFadyen had enough of Bandits player Steve Priolo sticking his gloves in his face. The two decided to settle it on the field as the gloves and helmets came flying off and the fists were thrown.
The Wings found themselves down four goals with 6 minutes and 23 seconds left. After goals from Alex Turner and Athan Iannucci the Wings and fans were thinking comeback, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The Bandits crushed all hopes of a comeback when they scored on an empty net goal with just over two minutes to play as the Wings were using the extra player on offense.
The Wings got two goals each from Iannucci (two assists) and Westervelt and two assists from Mundorf.
The Wings gun for their first win on Saturday, Jan. 22 when they travel to the Colorado Mammoth for the first away game. It can be seen live on TCN at 9:00 p.m.