Philadelphia Weathers the Storm
Wings Defeat New Jersey, 16-14
Saturday, February 22, 2003
By Jennifer Stefani
The Wings took advantage of a struggling New Jersey team to earn its first win at home since opening night, 16-14, Saturday at the First Union Center in front of 13,344 fans. Captain Tom Marechek led the squad with five goals and three assists, while goalie Dallas Eliuk made 37 saves for the win on an afternoon where fans received his bobblehead. With the win, Philadelphia trails first-place Colorado in the East Division of the NLL by just half a game.
"It's a great feeling," said Wings' coach Adam Mueller. "They went up by a goal in the third and we came right back. The group stayed positive and we came back with a strong quarter. Tom's been putting up the points every game, but he broke the ice tonight with five goals and some assists. It's a sign of relief that someone can step up and get goals when we need them."
The Wings got off to a quick start, scoring in the first minute of play with a goal by Merechek. It took nearly 10 minutes before Philadelphia added to its lead with a power-play goal by Jeff Ratcliffe. The Storm battled back with goals by Cam Bomberry and Scott Stewart in the span of a minute, but Philadelphia had the last say as Tony Henderson netted a power-play goal with 10 seconds left in the quarter.
The second quarter started with plenty of action as three goals were scored in the first minute. Stewart netted two goals in 13 seconds and Marechek answered for the Wings with his second of the game. The Storm added a pair of goals once again, from Bomberry and Blake Miller, before Philadelphia scored three more. Marechek added his third and fourth goals of the game and Dan Marohl added the other. Roy Colsey tied the game at seven going into halftime with a late power-play goal.
The third quarter was filled with scoring streaks by each team as the Wings and Storm combined for nine goals. Philadelphia took the first lead of the second half with goals by Henderson and Marechek. The two teams traded goals before New Jersey went on a three-goal streak thanks to Steve Sombrotto, Bobby Horsey and Mike Benedict. The Wings took a time out to turn things around and rounded out the scoring in the quarter with goals by Marohl and Jeff Spano.
The Wings opened the final quarter by taking advantage of a five-minute power play. Henderson and Ratcliffe scored on the man-advantage. New Jersey added a goal by Roy Colsey, but Philadelphia increased its lead with goals by Henderson and Tom Ryan. Colsey netted two more in the final minute, but it wasn't enough for a comeback.
Tom Marechek led the Wings in scoring with eight points (5G,3A). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Tony Henderson (4G,1A), Dan Marohl (2G,3A), Tom Ryan (1G,1A), Peter Jacobs (1G), Jeff Spano (1G,1A) and Jeff Ratcliffe (2G,3A).
Roy Colsey led the Storm in scoring with six points (4G,2A ). Seven other players scored for New Jersey including Marc Morley (1G,1A), Bobby Horsey (1G), Scott Stewart (3G,1A), Mike Benedict (1G,1A), Cam Bomberry (2G,1A), Stephen Sombrotto (1G,1A) and Blake Miller (1G,1A).
NOTES: Forward Jake Bergey will sit out the 2003 season to recuperate from a torn ACL in his left knee. Bergey suffered the injury in a pre-season game against the Mammoth on December 6...Season tickets are still available for the Wings' 2003 home season by calling 215-389-WINGS. Individual tickets are $27, $23, and $18 in advance ($29, $25, and $20 on game day) and are available at Ticketmaster locations throughout the Delaware Valley by calling (215) 336-2000 or (856) 338-9000 or on the web at www.ticketmaster.com
Photos by Pedro Cancel
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