PHILADELPHIA WINGS CHALLENGE DIVISION RIVAL BUFFALO IN HEAD-TO-HEAD FINALE OF 2014
WINGS LOOK TO CLINCH SEASON SERIES WITH BANDITS, SERIES TIED 1-1
Following disappointing back-to-back matchups against Toronto and Edmonton last weekend, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) look to right their ship when they visit Buffalo at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m.
“We felt good going into last weekend, but didn’t perform like we wanted to,” said Head Coach Blane Harrison. “We had some players dealing with injuries and we weren’t very good the way we played in Toronto. We were able to build off some strong execution against Edmonton and hope to bounce back this week.”
The Wings play the Buffalo Bandits for the final time during the 2014 regular season. This marks the third faceoff between the NLL East Division foes. Both teams spoiled each other’s home openers this year with victories on the road. Buffalo is currently ranked first in the East carrying a record of 5-2.
Philadelphia was left with a sour taste in their mouths when they were defeated by Buffalo earlier in January. The Bandits won in overtime on a sudden death goal by Forward John Tavares.
The Wings will turn to a group five forwards to pace them on offense. Forwards Jordan Hall, Kyle Buchanan and Ryan Ward rank among the NLL leaders in points, goals and assists. Forward Tracey Kelusky faces his former squad in Buffalo. This season he has recorded 10 points against them (four goals, six assists). Lastly, Forward Kevin Crowley has begun to heat-up. Crowley has posted two multi-goal games in-a-row (five goals, one assist).
“My season started off slower than I would have liked,” said Wings Forward Kevin Crowley. “These last couple of games I have started to hit my stride. The offense is getting comfortable playing together. The different rotations are developing a solid chemistry with eachother.”
Buffalo has four players with double-digits in goals and points. Forwards Ryan Benesch, John Tavares, Mark Steenhuis and Transition Player Dhane Smith comprise a potent offensive attack for the Bandits. As a team, Buffalo has scored the fourth most goals in the league (82 total).
The Wings make their way back to Philadelphia when they face the Minnesota Swarm at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, February 23 at 4 p.m.