Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/25/11
The Philadelphia Wings (4-4) return home to the Wells Fargo Center this Saturday to host the National Lacrosse Leading leading Toronto Rock (7-2). Faceoff is set for 8:00 p.m. in the first of three meetings between the Wings and Rock.
The Wings are hoping to carry over some momentum from an important road win in Buffalo over the Bandits last Saturday. The third and final meeting of the two clubs proved to be the most physical with two Buffalo player ejections and an abundance of post whistle wrap-ups. Buffalo finished the contest with 46 penalty minutes, a key total when compared to the Wings’ 14.
Defenseman Dan Hardy and forward Athan Iannucci both finished the game with 3 goals a piece, while Alex Turner, Bill McGlone, Steve Holmes and Drew Westervelt all beat Bandits goalie Angus Goodleaf for goals of their own. In net, National Lacrosse League (NLL) All-Star goalie Brandon Miller did not disappoint, recording 43 saves in the victory.
Overall: Rock lead 18-8
At Philadelphia: Rock lead 8-6
At Toronto: Rock lead 10-2
Last Meeting: April 3, 2010; Toronto won in Philadelphia 13-6 (Wells Fargo Center)
About the Rock:
The Rock (7-2) leads the NLL Eastern Division. Toronto is eighth in the league on the power play, converting on 27.7% percent of its chances, and first on penalty kills at 75.7%. The Rock are 2-2 on the road this season.
Toronto holds both the best record in the NLL and the league’s widest goal differential at 101 goals for and only 78 against. The team is led by forwards Stephan Leblanc and Blaine Manning who share the team lead in points with 47 each. The Rock will be sending four different players to the 2011 All-Star game, including forwards Colin Doyle and Garrett Billings, defenseman Sandy Chapman and goalie Bob Watson. Joining his players, Toronto head coach Troy Cordingley has been tapped by the league to manage the Eastern All-Stars.
About the Wings:
The Wings, (4-4) are currently tied for fourth in the NLL Eastern Division. Philadelphia is third in the league on the power play, converting on 44% of its chances, and fifth on the penalty kill, successfully defending 62.5% of its opponent’s opportunities. The Wings are 2-1 at home this season.
Athan Iannucci leads the Wings with 18 goals and 20 assists for a total of 38 points this season. He has scored at least five points in each of his last five games. Goalie Brandon Miller boasts the second best save percentage in the league at 80.7% and was recently named starting goaltender for the 2011 Eastern Division All-Star Team. Transition player Max Seibald will join Miller as part of the Eastern All-Stars at the Turning Stone Casino Arena in Verona, New York on Sunday, February 27.
The Comcast Network will broadcast this weekend’s game live and in high definition:
Saturday, February 26 at 8 p.m. vs. the Toronto Rock
(Comcast SportsNet replay: Sunday, February 27 at 12 p.m.)
Wings Head Coach John Tucker on his team’s performance over the first half of the season:
“We’ve been up and down, especially on our home floor at 1-3. On the positive side, I’ve been really pleased with the effort we’ve put forth on the road. At 4-4 we’re still right in the playoff hunt and that’s a good place for us.”
On hosting the league-leading Toronto Rock:
“We have the best team in the league twice in a row in six days, so it’s going to be very difficult for us. They are the ultimate team on offense and they can hurt you from so many areas. There isn’t one guy you can just focus in on, because they have so many threats. They’re constantly moving and very slick. It’s going to be a good test for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
Toronto Assistant Coach Terry Sanderson on this weekend’s match up:
“I don’t know any staff who would allow their team to overlook [the Wings]. We’ve been around long enough to know that Philadelphia is a very explosive place to play. They beat two very talented teams in Boston and Buffalo and we’re going to be taking this game very seriously. They are a very athletic club and that could spell trouble for us.”
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. Season tickets and multigame packs are also available by calling 215-389-WING (9464).