Rochester Spoils Opening Night for Philadelphia
Saturday, January 17, 2004
By Jennifer Stefani
The Wings suffered their first loss of the season after a strong start on the road, falling to Rochester, 17-11, Saturday at the First Union Center in front of 14,217 fans. Philadelphia jumped to an early start, but fell apart in the middle two quarters, giving up nine unanswered goals. John Grant led Rochester's attack with five goals and five assists. Jeff Ratcliffe led the Wings with three goals and an assist.
"It was a disappointing all-around effort," said Wings' coach Adam Mueller. "From offense to defense to goaltending, all areas needed improvement. We have a lot of work to do going into our game next week in San Jose."
The Wings started their home season on the right note with a goal by Paul Cantabene in the first minute of play. The Knighthawks answered with a goal by Matt Giles, but Philadelphia netted the next three. Tony Henderson, Tom Marechek and Jeff Ratcliffe scored to gave the Wings the 4-1 lead. The two teams traded goals before the Knighthawks ended the quarter with unassisted tallies from Grant and Casey Zaph. Zaph's late goal came shorthanded.
Rochester took control in the second quarter, scoring five straight goals. Chris Schiller started the offense and Grant netted the next two to complete the hat trick. Derek Malawsky gave the Knighthawks a four-goal lead with power-play and even-strength goals at the end of the quarter. Philadelphia was outshot, 17-4, in the quarter.
The Knighthawks added two more goals at the start of the second half, for a total of nine unanswered, before the Wings pulled goalie Dallas Eliuk. Henderson tried to start a Philadelphia comeback, scoring his second of the night for the Wings' first goal in nearly 25 minutes. Rochester continued its offense, adding a goal on new Philadelphia goalie Nick Schroeder to take a 12-6 lead into the final quarter.
Rochester and Philadelphia traded goals twice before the Knighthawks put the game out of reach with three straight goals. The Wings mustered three late goals by Mark Frye, rookie Ryan Ward and Andrew Martin, but still remained six short in the defeat.
Jeff Ratcliffe led the Wings in scoring with four points (3G,1A). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Paul Cantabene (1G), Mark Frye (1G,2A), Tom Marechek (1G,1A), Andrew Martin (1G,2A), Ryan Ward (2G,2A) and Tony Henderson (2G,2A).
John Grant led the Knighthawks in scoring with 10 points (5G,5A). Seven other players scored for Rochester including Chris Schiller (1G,1A), Matt Giles (2G,1A), Derek Malawsky (2G,4A), Ryan O'Connor (1G,1A), Casey Zaph (1G), Scott Evans (1G,1A) and Shawn Williams (4G,5A).
NOTES: Season tickets are still available for the Wings' 2004 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
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