The Philadelphia Wings won their third straight game with an 8-7 victory over Buffalo Friday at the First Union Center in front of 11,785 fans. Goalie Dallas Eliuk made 43 saves for the win, while Tom Marchek, Jake Bergey and Jeff Ratcliffe led the offense with two goals apiece.
"Offensively, we didn't play our best game, but as far as defense, it's coming together nicely," said Wings' coach Adam Mueller. "Everyone played their hearts out. Dallas played tremendously to keep us in the game."
The Wings came out firing in the first quarter, but Buffalo struck first on a shot by Mike Accursi. Philadelphia quickly took control, scoring the rest of the goals in the period. Jake Bergey netted a pair of goals and Jeff Ratcliffe added a third to take a 3-1 lead. Eliuk stopped seven shots in the quarter.
Buffalo evened the score with two goals to start the second quarter (McCready, Maddalena). Tom Marechek made it a 4-3 game with a power play goal, but the Bandits took the lead once again with goals from former Wing Jason Clark and Chris Driscoll. Buffalo outshot Philadelphia, 14-11, in the quarter.
Kevin Finneran opened up the scoring for Philadelphia in the second half to knot the game at five. McCready scored his second goal of the night to give the Bandits the lead once again, but Ratcliffe answered with his second tally of the game for a 6-6 tie going into the final quarter.
Philadelphia went ahead for good with two goals to start the fourth quarter. Mark Millon notched his first of the night, while Marechek added his second. Driscoll scored a late goal for Buffalo, but it wasn't enough.
Jeff Ratcliffe led the Wings in scoring with four points (2G,2A). Four other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Tom Marechek (2G,1A), Kevin Finneran (1G,1A), Jake Bergey (2G) and Mark Millon (1G,3A).
Chris Driscoll led the Bandits in scoring with two points (2G ). Four other players scored for Buffalo, including Mike Accursi (1G), Pat McCready (1G), Pat Maddalena (1G) and Jason Clark (1G).
Notes: Tonight's game was the first of a five-game homestand. The team played the first four games of the season on the road...The Wings welcomed Eagles fans to the First Union Center for a halftime pep rally to support the Birds' NFC Championship game against St. Louis Sunday.
UPCOMING GAMES: The Philadelphia Wings host the Rochester Knighthawks on Friday, February 1, and the expansion New Jersey Storm on February 16. Individual tickets are on sale now at the box office and all Ticketmaster outlets throughout the Delaware Valley. Pro-rated Wings season tickets are available at (215) 389-WINGS.