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Philadelphia Wings face two key tests this week with NLL playoff picture a major concern

Friday, 4th March 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Pro, Posted 3/4/11
From Press Releases

The Philadelphia Wings (4-5) face a key weekend of indoor lacrosse action against the National Lacrosse League East and West Division leaders Friday and Saturday.

The Wings travel north to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, to take on the Toronto Rock on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Then the Wings return home to the Wells Fargo Center to host the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Rock sits a top the NLL East with eight wins and two losses. The last meeting between Philadelphia and Toronto ended in a 16-13 defeat for the Wings at the Wells Fargo Center, but with record of 3-1 on the road the Wings are looking for redemption in Toronto.

The Wings and Roughnecks meet for the first time this season on Saturday. Calgary has five wins and two losses this year and leads the NLL Western Division. Saturday will be the Wings’ second look at the West. The club beat the Colorado Mammoth twice earlier in the season.

Series Notes (Toronto):

Overall: Rock lead 19-8
At Philadelphia: Rock lead 9-6
At Toronto: Rock lead 10-2
Last Meeting: February 26, 2011; Toronto won in Philadelphia 16-13 (Wells Fargo Center)

About the Rock:

The Rock (8-2) leads the NLL Eastern Division. Toronto is eighth in the league on the power play, converting on 30.2% percent of its chances, and first on penalty kills at 70.2%. The Rock are 3-2 on the road this season.

Toronto holds both the best record in the NLL and the league’s widest goal differential at 117 goals for and only 91 against. The team is led by forwards Stephan Leblanc and Blaine Manning who share the team lead in points with 52 each. The Rock recently sent four different players to the 2011 All-Star game, including forwards Colin Doyle and Garrett Billings, defenseman Sandy Chapman and goalie Bob Watson. Toronto head coach Troy Cordingley was also tapped by the league to manage the Eastern All-Stars.

Series Notes (Calgary):

Overall: Wings lead 2-1
At Philadelphia: Wings lead 1-0
At Calgary: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: March 6, 2010; Calgary won in Calgary 15-7 (Scotiabank Saddledome)

About the Roughnecks:

The Roughnecks (5-3) lead the NLL Western Division. Calgary is fifth in the league on the power play, converting on 40.7% of their chances, and fifth on penalty kills at 61.8%. The Roughnecks are 3-1 on the road this season.

Calgary has claimed victory in three of its last four outings, including a tight one-goal win over the Edmonton. Transition player Jeff Shattler scored the game-winning goal against the Rush to cap off an impressive 8 point evening, while forward Scott Ranger chipped in with six points of his own. Ranger (33 points) and Shattler (33 points) are tied for second behind Roughneck forward Dane Dobbie (35 points) for the team lead in scoring.

About the Wings:

The Wings, (4-5) are currently tied for fourth in the NLL Eastern Division. Philadelphia is third in the league on the power play, converting on 45% of its chances, and sixth on the penalty kill, successfully defending 61.1% of its opponent’s opportunities. The Wings are 1-4 at home and 3-1 on the road this season.

Former league MVP Athan Iannucci leads the Wings with 22 goals and 25 assists for a total of 47 points this season. He has scored at least five points in each of his last six games, including a 4 goal, 5 assist performance against the Rock last Saturday. Goalie Brandon Miller boasts the third best save percentage in the league at 78.8% and recently served as the starting goaltender for the 2011 Eastern Division All-Star Team.

Coaches Corner:

Wings coach John Tucker on his team’s rematch with the Rock:

“We need to start better. Falling into a 5-0 hole was not what we expected and we don’t want to spend the game chasing them. But we bounced back and fought hard. We’ll clean it up and move forward and try to turn it around Friday.”

On playing a team—Calgary—from the Western Division:

“It’s certainly refreshing. We obviously understand that’s the way the league is set up, and it certainly promotes great competition within the division; but, this will be a refreshing change of pace and hopefully something good for us.”

Rock coach Terry Sanderson on the possibility of complacency given his team’s success:

“Not at all. We’re very happy to be where we are, but with this division we’re in, with all its parity, that kind of attitude just isn’t an option. You can’t take any team in this league lightly. Philly gave us a real tough game last week and we’re expecting exactly the same this week.”

Roughnecks assistant coach Bob McMahon on his team’s upcoming trip to Philadelphia:

“I think Coach Tucker’s done a great job. They’ve beaten terrific teams in Boston and Buffalo, and played pretty much even with Toronto last week. Between Mundorf, Westervelt and Iannucci they’ve got three of the best forwards in the league. And Brandon Miller’s been terrific in net. They’ve got a big athletic defense, and it’s going to be a big challenge.”

Single game tickets start at $10 and are available exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at, 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).


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