Philadelphia Falls to First-Place Toronto, Rock Roll over Wings, 17-15
Saturday, April 2, 2005
By Jennifer Stefani
The Wings couldn't keep up with first-place Toronto as they fell to the Rock, 17-15, Saturday at the Wachovia Center in front of 12,584 fans. The matchup was the first of three between the two teams to round out the season. The Wings led by three going into the third quarter and found themselves down by three at the end of the quarter. Colin Doyle led the Rock, who clinched a playoff spot, with three goals and eight assists. Tom Marechek led the Wings with four goals and four assists The Wings face the Rock again in their final regular season home game next Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m.
"The third quarter got away from us," said Wings' head coach Lindsay Sanderson. "We got away from what we were doing and what we were talking about. Our defense has to get a lot better and our one-on-one checking is an issue. We definitely have to be a lot sharper on our back side for the next two games."
Toronto opened the first quarter with a power-play goal by Matt Shearer. The Rock had just five seconds left on the man advantage when they took the lead. Philadelphia got on the board with a goal by Keith Cromwell. Blaine Manning gave Toronto the lead again, but the Wings ended the quarter with three straight goals, including two on the power play. Tom Marechek netted two of the goals and Dan Marohl added the third.
Philadelphia continued its offense with Marohl's second goal of the game to start the second quarter. The Rock responded with tallies by Manning and Shearer. The Wings scored two of their own by Marechek and Jeff Spano. Aaron Wilson scored his first goal to bring Toronto within two points, but Jeff Ratcliffe scored in the last minute of the half to give Philadelphia the 8-5 lead.
Toronto took over in the third quarter, outscoring the Wings, 9-3. The team went from a three-goal deficit, to a three-goal lead. The Rock scored five straight goals in the middle of the quarter. Manning, Colin Doyle and Wilson each had two goals, while Shearer, Jim Veltman and Rusty Kruger contributed with one each. Philadelphia goalie Dallas Eliuk was replaced by Nick Schroeder after Toronto took a 13-10 lead. Jeff Ratcliffe, Andrew Burkholder and Jake Bergey netted goals for Philadelphia. The Rock led, 14-11, going into the last quarter.
The Rock continued to dominate in the fourth quarter, scoring the first three goals. Josh Sanderson tallied the first two and assisted on the third, scored by Doyle. Jeff Ratcliffe tried to spark the Wings, completing the hat trick, but Philadelphia still trailed by five goals with half a quarter remaining. Philadelphia made the end of the game exciting with goals by Marechek and Ratcliffe, but fell short by two points.
Tom Marechek led the Wings in scoring with eight points (4G,4A). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Keith Cromwell (1G,5A), Dan Marohl (2G,6A), Jeff Spano (1G), Andrew Burkholder (1G,2A), Jake Bergey (2G,4A) and Jeff Ratcliffe (4G,2A)
Colin Doyle led the Rock h in scoring with 11 points (3G,8A). Six other players scored for the Rock, including Aaron Wilson (3G,2A), Blaine Manning (4G,3A), Rusty Kruger (1G), Jim Veltman (1G,3A), Josh Sanderson (2G,8A) and Matt Shearer (3G,1A).