Wings' Streak Snapped; Mammoth Collar Bandits

The Philadelphia Wings three-game win streak ended with a 16-10 loss to the Washington Stealth at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night.

An injury depleted Wings squad never quite found their rhythm during Saturday's loss. With Captain Brodie Merrill, defenseman Brett Manney and lead face-off man Jeff Reynolds on the sideline with injuries, the Wings suffered another slow start Saturday, falling behind 4-2 after the first quarter. Unlike their three previous games, the Wings would never recover as the Stealth remained in control throughout the game and coasted to victory.

Unsurprisingly, with Reynolds scratched due to injury, the Wings suffered on the face-off all night, winning just four of 30 opportunities. It showed as the team was out-shot 59 to 52 by the Stealth.

With the loss the Wings fall to 5-4 and remain in second place in the NLL East Division.

Leading the way in defeat were the Wings duo of Kevin Crowley and Drew Westervelt with four points apiece. Kevin Ross and Paul Rabil each had two goals and an assists for three points on the night.

The Stealth were led by Rhys Duch with five goals and three assists and Lewis Ratcliff with seven points while former Wing Athan Iannucci tallied one goal and two assists in his first return to Philadelphia as an opponent

The Wings return to action against the East Division leading Toronto Rock at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m.

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PHILADELPHIA Washington's special teams play held a coming-out party, scoring five short-handed goals to silence a potent Wings offense with a 16-10 road win, Saturday night at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

The victory -- the Stealth's third straight giving them their longest unbeaten run of the season, was Washington's first-ever in Philadelphia and halted a three-win run by the Wings.

Now 7-4 with just five games remaining and holding down first in the NLL West, Washington needs just an eighth win, combined with a Colorado loss and a favorable tie-breaker scenario, to secure its third playoff berth in four years.

"It's always difficult to win on the road and especially in the East Division," said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall.

"Road wins are hard to come by in this league. We were able to pounce on them early and got a huge lead," he said. "We took advantage of the situations that presented themselves to us."

And the situations were plentiful.

Entering the game with just a single short-handed goal on the season, the Stealth exploded for five scores on man-down situations to clip the Wings power play threat and quiet the Wells Fargo Center.

With season-high performances, NLL leading scorer Rhys Duch delivered five goals and three assists for eight points, while Lewis Ratcliff hit a career milestone with four goals for his 401st in 11 years of NLL play. Along with three assists, Ratcliff had seven key points on the night.

After playing to a 2-2 tie at the five-minute mark of the opening quarter, Duch delivered his first on the night to ignite a four-goal Stealth run through the initial minute-and-a-half of the second.

The run, capped by Ratcliff's second of the contest making it 5-2,

ultimately lifted the Stealth to its third 16-goal game of the 2013 season.

Philadelphia briefly interrupted Washington's goal-party with a Pat Heim score, his only tally of the night just 32 seconds later to bring the Wings within two.

But that was as close as the Wings would fly, as Justin Salt's score at 10:14 again would send the Stealth streaking this time on a five-goal tear, that included Ratcliff's third on the night and 400th career goal to beat Philadelphia goaltender Brandon Miller with 2:58 to go. to make it 9-3.

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2013-03-10



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