Friday, April 13, 2007
By Jennifer Stefani
PHILADELPHIA - The Wings hold just a slim chance to make the playoffs after an 11-8 loss to the Minnesota Swarm Friday at the Wachovia Center in front of 11,738 fans. The team could have secured a playoff spot with two wins this weekend. Now, the Wings will have to win Saturday’s matchup in Chicago and Toronto will have to lose to New York.
Philadelphia tied the game twice, but never held a lead. Goalie Matt Roik kept the Wings in the game with 34 saves on 45 shots. Athan Iannucci was the teams only multiple-goal scorer, with two.
“It’s going to be hard to refocus after this,” said Wings' General Manager and Head Coach Lindsay Sanderson. "We’ll find a way to go out there and play, but it’s going to be hard. We’ll talk through it. They have a lot of character and we’ll fight through this."
Former Wings’ player Ryan Ward gave Minnesota a quick lead with the first two goals of the game. The Wings answered with two goals of their own, from Kyle Sweeney and Rob Van Beek. The Swarm took over with tallies from Scott Stewart and Sean Pollock to take another two-goal lead.
Minnesota added to its lead with Pollock’s second goal of the game at the start of the second quarter. Jake Bergey got the goal right back for Philadelphia. It was nearly 10 minutes before another ball reached the back of the net. Athan Iannucci, last week’s Rookie of the Week, brought the Wings within one. Stewart netted his second goal for the Swarm, but the Wings answered back with a goal from Keith Cromwell to trail by one at halftime (6-5).
The two teams were quiet coming out of the lockers rooms, scoring just three combined goals in the third quarter. Dean Hill scored the only Swarm goal. Geoff Snider and Iannucci put the ball past Minnesota goalie Nick Patterson for Philadelphia. Iannucci’s goal helped the Wings tie the game for the first time since the middle of the first quarter. The score was knotted at seven going into the final quarter.
The Wings had an opportunity to take their first lead of the game on an early power play in the fourth quarter. Instead, Minnesota regained the lead with a short-handed goal by Ryan Sharp. Hill added to the lead just over a minute later. Marc Morley pulled the Wings within one, but Mike Kilby gave the Swarm an insurance goal with six minutes remaining in regulation. Pollock completed the hat trick with 2:50 left on the clock and the Wings couldn’t battle back from the three-goal deficit.
Athan Iannucci led the Wings in scoring with two goals (2G). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Kyle Sweeney (1G), Keith Cromwell (1G,2A), Jake Bergey (1G,2A), Rob Van Beek (1G,1A), Geoff Snider (1G), and Marc Morley (1G,A). Goaltender Matt Roik made 34 saves.
Sean Pollock led the Swarm in scoring with four points (3G,1A). Five other players scored for Minnesota, including Ryan Ward (2G,3A), Scott Stewart (2G), Dean Hill (2G,1A), Mike Kilby (1G), and Ryan Sharp (1G,1A). Goaltender Nick Patterson had 38 saves on the night.