By Anthony Caruso
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/23/14
The Philadelphia Wings were struggling through a six-game losing streak, but Kevin Crowley decided to make his mark at the right time.
Crowley scored a season-high six goals and dished three assists Saturday night and led the Wings to a key 14-13 victory over the Toronto Rock at the Wells Fargo Center.
“This is the Kevin Crowley that we’ve been waiting for all year,” said Wings head coach Blaine Harrison. “He’s a very talented player, and he’s had these looks all year.
“But tonight, when he took those shots, his shots were falling. We were very fortunate that he had a break out game when we needed it the most.”
The Wings (4-9) were man-handled by the Rock, 20-10, on February 7th. Wings players were focused on revenge after that lopsided loss.
“It feels very good to get revenge on Toronto after our last meeting,” said Wings goalie Evan Kirk. “Blaine (Harrison) made us remember that game. It seemed like nobody came to play in that game. They put a beating on us up there.”
The Wings picked up their first win in nearly two months with the win. Their last win came at home against the Vancouver Stealth on February 1st.
The Wings now trail the Rock (5-8) by one game for the final Eastern playoff berth.
“It’s nice to finally get a win,” said Harrison. “There’s a number of reasons why this win was a big win. One we get the monkey off our backs, and it ends our streak of six losses in a row.
“It’s also a big win over a conference rival, who we are chasing for the final playoff spot. We had this game circled for a while, and we were able to get through that six game losing streak to still be in the thick of things.”
Philadelphia and Toronto played a back-and-forth opening quarter with four different lead changes. Philadelphia carried the 5-3 edge moving to the second quarter, but Toronto went on a 4-0 scoring run to grab a 7-5 lead. Philadelphia answered with a 6-1 scoring run of its own to lead 11-8 through two quarters.
Kyle Buchanan (two goals, two assists), Tracey Kelusky (two goals) and Jordan Hall (five assists) also led the attack.
“Now, we have to focus on our horizons,” Harrison said. “If we take care of business with the Western Conference opponents, then we would be in it with Toronto when we see them in a few weeks. It feels good to get the monkey off our backs.”
The Wings had several new players on their team after being signed or traded for earlier in the week. Kyle Belton, who was acquired from Toronto, along with two draft picks, for Brandon Miller.
Besides Belton, the Wings also added goalie Kevin Croswell, defenseman Michael Diehl and Stephen Hour and forward Bill McGlone (Ridley) were added to the active roster.
“The league is a small community, so many of us know players on other teams,” said Kyle Buchanan. “Hoursey is a tough guy on face offs, and he could do a lot of things for our team. He’s also a great guy to have in our dressing room. Belton works his butt off, and we were fortunate to pick him up. I have nothing but great things to say about them.”