Wings Host NLL Semi-finals Versus Rochester
Team Makes Final Preparations At Practice
Wednesday, April 18, 2001
The Philadelphia Wings head to an intense practice at Tri-State Sports in Aston, PA Wednesday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in preparation for their National Lacrosse League Semi-final Playoff game against the Rochester Knighthawks this Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Union Center.
"We are down to a two-game season," said Wings Head Coach Tony Resch. "Or, I should say, two single game seasons. These guys must keep the intensity high, tonight at practice, and Friday on the field. Rochester has been playing some great lacrosse late in the season. We won both games against Rochester this season, but neither game by a significant number of goals. We have to stay in control and score the goals we need and defend on the other end of the field. The smarter, tougher team will win."
The Wings faced-off against Rochester twice during the regular season, beating the Knighthawks in both matches, but only by a thin margin. At Rochester, the Wings edged the Knighthawks out 17-16, at home 12-14. Philadelphia is 7-4 in regular season play against Rochester, 1-1 in the post season. The last time these two teams met in the post-season was in 1997 when the Wings lost during the semi-finals, in 1995 the Wings won the Championship versus Rochester.
NLL Playoffs are single elimination matches. The winners move on to the Finals; there are no series. The other NLL Semi-final game will be hosted by the Toronto Rock (first place, 11-3) when the Washington Power (fourth place, 9-5) heads to the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, April 21. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Wings/Rochester game in the Champions Cup Finals the weekend of April 27-29.
Friday will be the first home playoff game for the Wings since 1998, when they went on to win the Championship versus the Baltimore Thunder.
Philadelphia has a history of post-season success. They have made it to the playoffs 14 out of the 15 seasons the franchise has been in existence (every year except 1991). They have continued on to the Championship round eight times, winning the Champions Cup five times: 1989, '90, '94, '95 and '98.
The Wings are led by Jake Bergey with 87 points (44G, 43A), followed by Tom Marechek with 79 points (48G, 31A), Kevin Finneran with 62 points (23G, 39A), Mark Millon with 60 points (23G, 37A), Jeff Ratcliffe with 46 points (21G, 25A), and Jason Clark with 46 points (18G, 28A). Goalie Dallas Eliuk has played another banner year for the team, tallying 493 saves on 642 shots.
The Knighthawks are led by John Grant (42G, 48A), Cory Bomberry (24G, 42A), Curt Malawsky (25G, 34A), and Duane Jacobs (33G, 24A).
Playoff tickets for the Philadelphia Wings are now available at $27, $23 and $18 through the First Union Center Box Office, all TicketMaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling (215) 336-2000. Wings group tickets for the playoffs are available by calling (215) 389-WINGS.