Saturday, April 1, 2006
By David Deal
PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia earned an important division win with an 8-7 victory against Rochester Saturday at the Wachovia Center in front of 12,001 fans. The two teams split their previous two matchups this season and played a more defensive style this time around. Sean Greenhalgh led the Wings with two goals and two assists, while John Grant scored a hat trick for the Knighthawks.
"We definitely need this win, especially going into Toronto next week" said Wings' coach Lindsay Sanderson. "This was a gutsy performance by these guys. They played a full 60 minutes and I think they dominated the whole game. Everybody is getting ready for the playoffs, and this was playoff lacrosse. There are no easy goals. Everything was earned by both teams."
The action started 19 seconds into the game as Pat Dutton scored an unassisted goal for Rochester. The Wings had a chance to even the score on an early power play, but could not capitalize. Philadelphia eventually tied the game at one with a goal by Jeff Spano. John Grant gave the Knighthawks the lead once again, but the Wings scored two goals in an 11-second span (Greenhalgh, Ratcliffe) late in the quarter to give Philadelphia its first lead of the game.
The two teams spent most of the second quarter on special teams. Philadelphia was unsuccessful on two power plays at the start of the quarter, while Rochester failed on one man advantage. Philadelphia finally increased its lead at the 9:12 mark with a goal by Kyle Sweeney, but Rochester got the goal back less than a minute later (Accursi). Shawn Evans then evened the score at four. Greenhalgh netted his second goal as the Wings succeeded on their fifth power play of the game. Regy Thorpe made it a 5-5 game with a late short-handed goal for Rochester.
Each team scored just one goal in the third quarter. Grant tallied his second for Rochester and Peter Jacobs added his first for Philadelphia. The score was knotted at six going into the final quarter.
Jake Bergey netted a pair of goals to start the fourth quarter and put the Wings up by two. Grant completed the hat trick to bring Rochester within one. The Knighthawks pulled goalie Pat O'Toole for the final minute of regulation, but Wings' netminder Matt Roik made three key saves to earn the win.
Sean Greenhalgh led the Wings in scoring with four points (2G,2A). Five other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Kyle Sweeney (1G), Jeff Spano (1G), Jeff Ratcliffe (1G,1A), Jake Bergey (2G,1A), and Peter Jacobs (1G).
John Grant led the Knighthawks in scoring with three points (3G). Four other players scored for Rochester, including Pat Dutton (1G), Regy Thorpe (1G,1A), Shawn Evans (1G), Mike Accursi (1G).
NOTES: The Wings travel to Toronto and Buffalo on April 8 and 14 before returning home to face Buffalo on April 15 for the last regular season game. Great tickets for the final 2006 Philadelphia Wings home game are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 215-389-WING.