Wings Soar; Mammoth, Powell Prevail; Bandits Stop Rock

The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) were energized and ready to entertain the home crowd fresh off their bye week. Philadelphia recorded their first home win of the 2014 season by outmatching Vancouver on both ends of the field, resulting in a 15-9 victory.

Forwards Kyle Buchanan and Pat Saunders set the tone for the Wings in the first half. Both recorded hat tricks and combined for 11 points to gain a 10-5 lead for Philadelphia heading into halftime. Philadelphia never trailed in the first half. The Wings dug in on the defensive trenches and held Vancouver to only 21 shots on goal in the first half while also forcing six turnovers. Goalie Evan Kirk was solid in the net in recording 16 first-half saves.

Philadelphia continued to stifle the Stealth in the second half. The Wings only allowed four more goals on the evening. The stars of the game included Kyle Buchanan earning the first star, Pat Saunders earning the second star and Vancouver's Rhys Duch earning the third star.

"The offense performed well tonight," said Head Coach Blane Harrison. "We took advantage of a tired team in Vancouver with them traveling the night before. The defense continues to grow and was impressive [tonight]. Evan Kirk has established himself as one of the league's top starters."

Forwards Jordan Hall, Kyle Buchanan and Pat Saunders turned in impressive all-around performances. The trio contributed 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists). Hall has scored a goal in each game this season. Buchanan made a statement against his former team in Vancouver by scoring four first half goals.

Vancouver was led by Forward Rhys Duch with five points (three assists, two goals). Duch is among the league leaders in scoring, ranking fifth in points (35) and second in goals (18). Last season he had a career high in points (96) and goals (45).

Next week, the Wings will play back-to-back games against the Toronto Rock and Edmonton Rush. The Wings visit Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia hosts the undefeated Edmonton Rush at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

* * * *

Philadelphia 15, Vancouver 9

BUFFALO, NY The Buffalo Bandits (5-1) won their fifth consecutive game by defeating the Toronto Rock (2-3) by a score of 12-10 on Saturday night in Buffalo, NY at the First Niagara Center. The road loss was the third in a row for the Rock who have yet to earn a victory away from Air Canada Centre this season.

Buffalo drew first blood in a penalty filled opening 15 minutes which saw a total of nine minors assessed. Toronto tied the score on a Kasey Beirnes tally. Each team scored once more to finish the first quarter deadlocked at 2-2.

The parade to the penalty box continued in the second quarter with 5 of the 8 goals coming on special teams in the frame. Buffalo built a 5-3 lead only to see it evaporate with a pair of Rock power play goals finding the net as Josh Sanderson and a fiery Garrett Billings struck for man advantage markers. The Bandits would however score the final two goals of the half to lead 7-5 at the break.

To open the second half the Rock scored three times in 1:24 early moments of the 3rd quarter to take their first lead of the game, 8-7. Buffalo wouldn't tie it up until the late stages of the third and added another to regain the lead 9-8 as the quarter came to an end.

The Rock tied the score 9-9 with a powerplay goal from Beirnes 4:17 into the fourth quarter. Buffalo's ensuing three-goal run put the game out of reach as the Rock could only muster one more goal before the final buzzer.

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2014-02-02



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