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Wings face must-win situation against Boston Saturday; also host Rochester Sunday in busy weekend

Friday, 8th April 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Pro  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/7/11
From Press Releases

The Philadelphia Wings (5-8) of the National Lacrosse League will begin the opening leg of a weekend full of indoor lacrosse on Saturday when they travel north to the TD Garden and face the Boston Blazers (6-8) at 7:30 p.m.

The following afternoon the Wings return home to host the Rochester Knighthawks (7-5) at the Wells Fargo Center in the last regular season home game. Face-off is set for 2:30 p.m.

With just three games remaining in the 2011 season, the Wings and Blazers are fighting for the Eastern Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Should Philadelphia defeat Boston on Saturday, the Wings will hold an end-of-season tie break over the Blazers. With that Philadelphia will need to win just one of the other two remaining games to claim the playoff spot. On the other hand, should the Wings fall to the Blazers; Boston will claim the fourth and final spot in this year’s postseason, eliminating the Wings in the process.

Series Notes (Boston):

Overall: Wings lead 9-6
At Philadelphia: Tied 4-4
At Boston: Wings lead 5-2
Last Meeting: January 28, 2011; Philadelphia won in Boston 11-5 (TD Garden)

About the Blazers:

The Blazers (6-8) are currently fourth in the NLL Eastern Division. Boston is second in the league on the power play, converting on 46.3% percent of its chances, and ninth on penalty kills at just 55.7%. The Blazers are 3-4 at home this season.

Boston is led by their “Big Three” of Casey Powell, Dan Dawson and Josh Sanderson. Powell and Dawson not only lead the Blazers in scoring, but also rank second and fourth in the NLL with 76 and 75 points, respectively. Sanderson follows the tandem with 18 goals and 41 assists for 59 points of his own. All three were named to the 2011 Eastern Division All-Star team along with teammates Kyle Rubisch and Anthony Cosmo. Cosmo currently sits third in the league standings with a goal against average of just 9.91.

Series Notes (Rochester):

Overall: Knighthawks lead 22-15
At Philadelphia: Wings lead 10-8
At Rochester: Knighthawks lead 14-5
Last Meeting: March 26, 2011; Rochester won in Rochester 13-10 (Blue Cross Arena)

About the Knighthawks:

The Knighthawks (7-5) are currently third the NLL Eastern Division; they have already secured a spot in the 2011 playoffs. The team is eighth in the league on both the power play and penalty kill at just 37.3% and 57.6% on each. The Knighthawks are 3-2 on the road this season.

Rochester is led by the tandem of Shawn Evans and Shawn Williams. First and second on the team in points, Evans has tallied 17 goals and 38 assists for 55 points while Williams trails just two points behind Evans with 16 goals, 37 assists and 53 points. In his two games against the Wings this season, Evans amassed a staggering total of 16 points on 2 goals and 14 assists. He was voted the game MVP of the 2011 NLL All-Star game in honor of his twelve point performance on the evening.

About the Wings:

The Wings, (5-8) are currently tied for fourth in the NLL Eastern Division. Philadelphia is fourth in the league on the power play, converting on 42.5% of its chances, and sixth on the penalty kill, successfully defending 58.5% of its opponent’s opportunities. The Wings are 2-5 at home and 3-3 on the road this season.

Athan Iannucci leads the Wings with 29 goals and 31 assists for a total of 60 points this season. The former league MVP is currently tied for thirteenth in the league in total scoring, and recently eclipsed the 250 point mark for his career. “Nooch” now sits just two assists shy of his 100th career “helper.” Drew Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf are second and third on the team in scoring behind Iannucci, and both turned in inspiring performances in the team’s come-from-behind win against Toronto last week. Turning in a hat trick each and participating in a number of scrums with disgruntled members of the Rock, Westervelt and Mundorf were the cornerstones of the comeback.

The club is also proud to have sent two representatives to the 2011 NLL All-Star Game in Verona, New York last month. Brandon Miller was named the Eastern division starting goaltender, while Max Seibald netted a goal to help the East defeat the West by a final score of 30-26.

Coaches Corner:

Wings coach John Tucker on Brendan Mundorf and Drew Westervelt’s Performances against Toronto:

“We were very pleased. They’re two really tremendous talents. Obviously we missed Athan and the talent he brings, but I think everybody took it upon themselves to step it up just a little bit more. And, again, those two are just really tremendous talents, and I was really pleased to see them perform the way they did, especially given the circumstances.”

On keeping the Wings composed against Boston as they fight to extend their season:

“I don’t believe that we’ll have that problem. I think our problem is just facing this really impressive Boston team. They bring a whole lot to try to defend every night. Still, we’ve played well on the road this year, and we know they’re in a little bit of a tough stretch right now; but, both teams know important this game is. And they have so much talent that they could get going at any time and probably even win it all. So, we’re going to ready. But, no, I don’t expect us to be nervous or anything like that.”

Blazers coach Matt Sawyer on Saturday night’s playoff implications:

“They’re a big strong, club, who is really well coached. They’ve displayed some great goaltending the two times we played them. Brandon Miller is at the top of his game right now, and one the best goaltenders in the league. On offense, Iannucci and Westervelt are just so impressive and really difficult to defend. We know how good they are and it will be a big challenge for us. But, we’ll be ready. It’s a big game, and we know that, and we’ll be ready.”

K-Hawks coach Mike Hasen on the play of Scott Campbell and his recent hat trick against the Wings:

“Scottie’s a big part of our offense. He’s got the free range to create on the offensive floor, and he does it well. We’re very pleased with his performance of late and we hope he can carry it into this weekend. That said we’ve had two really tight games against Philadelphia this year, and we know what they’re fighting for. All of our guys are going to have to bring their A-games.”

Single game tickets start at $10 and are available exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at ComcastTIX.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Well Fargo Center Box Office.


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