Justin Ivey, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Featured Image Photo Credit: New York Riptide
The New York Riptide (0-5) hosted the Philadelphia Wings (2-1) in front of just over 5,000 people on Saturday night at the NYCB Live Arena. New York took their first home lead as a franchise in the first quarter, but a six-goal Philadelphia run in the middle of the first half had them playing catch up for the rest of the game. Tyson Gibson (3G, 2A), the first overall pick in the 2019 Entry Draft, caught fire in the second half and his hat trick goal tied the game early in the fourth quarter. The Wings recovered though and ended the game on a three-goal run, leaving the Riptide still searching for their first win as a franchise. Final Score: Philadelphis-15, New York-12.
Much to the chagrin of the home crowd, the Wings were the first to get on the board and it didn’t take long. Kevin Buchanan (1G) found his way underneath his defender and easily beat New York goalie Alex Buque while tiptoeing the crease just 33 seconds in. Feeding off the home crowd, New York answered and strung together an early three-goal run. Jake Fox (1G, 2A) started the flurry diving into the crease after a beautiful spin move. Tyler Digby (2G, 3A) scored with an extra attacker on the floor just over a minute later and the 2-1 lead was the first lead at home for the new franchise. After five minutes of good defense, including a successful penalty kill, Gale Thorpe (1G, 1A) scored with a five-hole snipe from outside to stretch the lead to two. The Wings needed just over a minute to tie the game as Matt Rambo (1G, 5A) became a catalyst for offensive creation. He scored the first goal and assisted Brett Hickey (3G, 1A) on the second. On the next Riptide possession, Connor Kelly (2A) made a run on the net but Philadelphia goaltender Zach Higgins pushed aside his shot. Dan Lomas (1G, 1A) was in the right place for the rebound and in one motion shoveled the ball past the out of place net minder. With a late power play opportunity, the Wings were again able to tie it up. Kevin Crowley (1G, 6A) had an open lane to the net, but instead of shooting he fired a hard pass to a waiting Josh Currier (3G) behind the net. Currier jumped around for the dunk as Buque did not recover in time. The final three minutes of the first quarter saw both teams step it up defensively. At the end of the first quarter, New York and Philadelphia were tied 4-4.
The Wings came out in the second quarter hot and dominated for much of the frame. They opened with a five-goal run from four different goal scorers. Cory Vitarelli (1G) started the onslaught only 43 seconds in. 18 seconds after that, Kiel Matisz (2G, 2A) notched his first of the game with his toes just outside the crease. Two minutes later Hickey scored his second of the game, and on the ensuing possession Matisz scored his second in a matter of minutes. Faceoff extraordinaire Trevor Baptiste (2G) scored the final of the run with 6:28 remaining, taking it himself in transition. The run of six-goals going back to the end of the first quarter gave the Wings a 9-4 lead. Finally, New York got back to scoring when John Wagner (1G) spun and fired a bouncer after backing his man down one on one in transition. The celebration was short, as Baptiste took his faceoff win and scored just 13 seconds later. Showing off his own speed, Digby answered in transition 44 seconds after to wrap up the scoring in the first half. At the end of the first half, Philadelphia led New York 10-6.
For the first two thirds of the third quarter scoring was hard to come by. Jean-Luc Chetner (2G, 4A) scored the only goal in the first 10 minutes to get the Riptide within three. The last five minutes of the quarter had each team score two goals. Crowley scored his lone goal of the game with a bomb from way outside and 4:48 on the clock. 40 seconds later Currier scored his second and the lead was back to five for Philadelphia. Playing with some desperation, New York closed the quarter with their own pair of goals. Both were scored by Gibson. The first was the product of an excellent individual effort as he scored unassisted with a crease dive and the second was a high to high shot from the center after coming around a good screen. At the end of the third quarter, Philadelphia led New York 12-9.
The Riptide carried the momentum into the final quarter, opening with a tough three-goal run to tie the game. Cody Radziewicz (1G, 1A) scored on a three on one transition opportunity 5:16 in and 30 seconds later Chetner brought them within one. Gibson tied the game with 8:04 remaining on another outstanding individual effort. After catching the long outlet from Buque, Gibson jab stepped his defender away and fired from the center while being hit by two Wings defenders. The score completed a five-goal comeback as the crowd went wild. Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish. Philadelphia turned up the heat on defense and took back the lead with 5:25 left. Hickey scored on the assist from Crowley and then the unfortunate sealed the game. The Wings had a power play opportunity and scored without even shooting on the net. Tyson Bomberry blocked the passing lane with his stick and inadvertently knocked the ball past an unsuspecting Buque into the net. Currier was credited with the goal, his third of the game and the Wings led by two with 2:09 remaining. Philadelphia scored an empty netter with 17 seconds remaining to seal the game. Final Score: Philadelphia-15, New York-12.
The Philadelphia Wings (2-1) host the Vancouver Warriors (1-3) on Friday, January 10 at 7:00 PM EST.
The New York Riptide (0-5) enjoy a week off before hosting the Georgia Swarm (2-1) on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 PM EST.