Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/14/12
The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), will open the 2012 season tonight (7:00) against their East Division rival Rochester Knighthawks at Wells Fargo Center.
The game will be the first in a Wings jersey for highly-touted newcomers Dan Dawson (2009 NLL Most Valuable Player), Brodie Merrill (2010 Transition Player of the Year) and Kevin Crowley (2011 No. 1 overall draft pick).
“It’s no secret with the number of new additions we have with Crowley, Dawson, Merrill and some others, that not only do we have the talent, but we’re also really pleased with our leadership in our locker room,” said Wings Head Coach and General manager Johnny Mouradian.
Dawson joins the Wings as the No. 1 one pick in the dispersal draft of Boston Blazers players after the 2011 season, while Merrill was acquired in a trade that sent former Wings Athan Iannucci and Alex Turner to the Edmonton Rush.
Last season the Wings were winless against Rochester in three appearances, including two home games at Wells Fargo Center.
On December 11, 2011, the Wings got their first taste of this season’s Knighthawks roster during the team’s exhibition game in Trenton, N.J. Through two quarters of play, Philadelphia led Rochester 4-2 behind the superb goal play of Brandon Miller.
After removing Miller and most of the team’s starters in the second half, the Wings struggled and ultimately dropped the contest 11-8.
Last season, led by forwards Shawn Williams (77 points) and Shawn Evans (73 points), the Knighthawks finished the regular season tied for the best record in the NLL’s East Division with a 10-6 record. They lost in the first round of the NLL playoffs to the eventual champion, Toronto Rock.
The game will also showcase the top two players in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. Crowley was selected by the Wings with the first overall selection after playing four seasons at Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and tallying 131 goals and 101 assists in 60 career games.
With the second overall selection in the draft, the Knighthawks selected forward Stephen Keogh out of Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.). Keogh was named the Big East Attack Player of the Year in his senior season and led the Orange with 33 goals and 41 total points.
This game will mark the first of three contests between the Wings and Knighthawks this season. In addition to opening the 2012 season against the Knighthawks, the team will also finish the regular season at Rochester on April 28, 2012, in a game that could prove vital for playoff seeding.
The Cure Insurance Club
Doors open at 5pm for our Wings Home Opener Pre-Game Party in the CURE Club! Enjoy live entertainment by THE NAMELESS FEW & don’t forget to COME EARLY & STAY LATE (5pm-6pm & post-game) for $4.50 Domestics & $2 Off Chickie’s Combo’s! As always, the players will be up to say hello post-game!
Wings at US Lacrosse Convention
Saturday January 14
1:45 – 2:45 pm– Wings players participate in an indoor demo on Life Turf Field. Players participating include Max Seibald, Ned Crotty, Matt Danowski and Stephen Fryer
2:45 – 3:45 – Autograph session with Dan Dawson and Brodie Merrill (they’ll be signing the Inside Lacrosse magazines that they’re featured on the cover)