PHILADELPHIA WINGS TRAVEL NORTH OF THE BORDER AS PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS LINGER
WINGS FACE TORONTO FOR FINAL MATCH-UP OF 2014 SERIES (CURRENTLY TIED 1-1)
Philadelphia, PA – Fighting to keep their postseason dreams a reality, the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) take to the road as they visit division rival Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m. The Wings currently trail the Rock by one game in the NLL East Division for the third and final playoff spot.
Philadelphia is in a must-win situation against Toronto. A loss to the Rock eliminates them from playoff contention. A victory will give them the tie-breaker over Toronto, should both teams finish with identical records to close the season. The Wings and Rock each have two remaining games following this weekend.
“It’s a playoff atmosphere for this game, but we have had that feeling the last few games,” said Head Coach Blane Harrison. “Since our last matchup against Toronto in March, every game has mattered as we make a run to the postseason. We have to look back to our previous games against them [Toronto] to learn what has worked.”
This is the final matchup between Philadelphia and Toronto in the 2014 regular season. Toronto owns a 26-16 overall series lead against the Wings. In their last meeting, Philadelphia won at home, 14-13. Wings Forward Kevin Crowley led all scorers with six goals and three assists, recording his first career sock trick (six goals in a game).
Forward Jordan Hall leads the Wings in goals (27) and points (61) this season and ranks thirteenth in the NLL in goals scored. Forward Pat Saunders, a former member of the Toronto Rock, was the standout player of Philadelphia’s most recent game. Saunders scored four goals and tallied two assists in the loss to Calgary. Defender Stephen Hoar and Transition Player Kyle Belton return to Toronto for the first time as members of the opposing squad.
“Everyone on the team has had a positive outlook during the recent stretch,” said Assistant Captain Brett Manney. “We have to continue to have the mentality of do or die. The chemistry is there for the team side. It is just about executing on the field. The team needs guys to rise to the occasion.”
Toronto (6-9) is currently third in the NLL East Division. Rock Forward Garrett Billings was named the NLL Player of the Month for March. Billings became the first player in NLL history to record three consecutive 100-point seasons. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in Toronto’s most recent victory in Vancouver on Saturday, April 5. Two former Wings acquired by Toronto at the 2014 trade and free agency deadlines, Goalie Brandon Miller and Forward Kevin Ross, will face their former teammates for the second time this season.
The Wings make their furthest trek of the season out west to face the Vancouver Stealth for the final matchup in their regular season series (Wings currently lead 1-0) at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, BC on Saturday, April 19 at 10 p.m. Philadelphia hosts the Colorado Mammoth for their regular season finale on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center.