By Anthony Caruso
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/2/14
The second quarter slump is over.
After struggling so much this young season in the second period, the Philadelphia Wings (3-3) used a 6-2 run in the second stanza and coasted past the Vancouver Stealth, 15-9 (see game story) Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
One of the keys to the Wings’ victory was Kyle Buchanan, who was released by Vancouver’s franchise (then located in Washington) after collecting 22 points in nine games as a rookie. On Saturday Buchanan had four goals and two assists; he now has 14 goals and 21 assists in 2014.
“I’ve had this game marked on my calendar,” said Buchanan. “Of course, I think they (the Stealth) made a mistake in releasing me after the Championship game (loss to Rochester) last year.
“They felt like they no longer needed me, so I came here to Philadelphia. It felt good to beat them.”
The Wings led, 4-1, after the first period and allowed the first two goals of the second quarter. But then they took control.
“We had been struggling in the second quarter,” said Jordan Hall, who had a goal and seven assists. “But it was good to come out in the second quarter with more energy and get that off our backs.
“Hopefully, moving forward, we will not be struggling in the second quarter.”
The Stealth dropped to 2-5 on the year, and lost both games this weekend on their East Coast road trip. The Stealth has lost three straight games after winning back-to-back games.
“Fatigue was not an issue,” said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. “We were playing back-to-back games, and typically in this league, you win the second game of the back-to-back.
“But that was not the case here. We felt like Philadelphia would come into the game with rust since they were off last week, but it seemed like we had the rust and they were the fresher team.”
Buchanan was not the only player, who sparked the Wings offense. Pat Saunders had a hat trick along with three assists.
Garrett Thul scored two goals, while Brodie Merrill, Kevin Crowley, Chad Wiedmaier, and Tracey Kelusky each scored a goal. Hall picked up his 250th point after a 1 goal and 7 assist night.
“It’s a good milestone,” said Hall. “But it was more important that our team won. That’s all that matters to me. I could care less about individual milestones.”
The Wings were also solid in the cage where the Stealth struggled, changing goalies twice.
Wings goalie Evan Kirk made 45 saves, while Stealth rotated between Tyler Richards and Matt Riok. Richards made 34 saves, while Riok made 5 saves on 9 shots.