Shawn Palmer, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Featured Image Photo Credit: New York Riptide
The Philadelphia Wings hosted the New York Riptide Friday January 24 for the second meeting of the teams played this year. The Wings won the first contest 15-12 and New York was hoping to even the season series and go on a win streak after their first NLL victory last week against Georgia. The Wings outscored the Riptide 9 to 1 in the second half on their way to a 14–6 win.
Philadelphia opened the scoring in the first quarter 2:18 in when Kevin Crowley (1G, 6A) scored on the give and go with Brett Hickey (5G, 1A) and beat Alex Buque (33 saves) below his glove to give the Wings a 1–0 lead. They extended their lead to two on a transition goal. Kiel Matisz (2G, 4A) teamed up with Isaiah Davis-Allen (1A) who flipped a pass to Matisz and beat Buque over the top of his shoulder. Ryan Fournier (1G) got the Riptide on the board short-handed beating Zach Higgins (57 saves, 1A) low to the glove side 2–1 in favor the Wings; and Tyler Digby (2G, 2A) evened the score coming off of the bench; broke between two defenders and his shot beat Higgins over the stick shoulder to tie it at twos. A couple minutes later, Ryan Wagner (1G) got that one back off the outlet pass from Higgins; beating his defender; and beating Buque to the low corner to make it 3-2 Wings. They’d extend their lead to two once more. Matisz picked up a rebound and went the full length of the floor with a defender all over him and as he got closer to the net, fed a flip pass to Hickey who was open on the crease and he scored to the glove side. Riptide Forward Dan Lomas (1G) would cut into the Wings lead when he found himself all alone in front of the crease with the ball; faked Higgins high and then beat him over the other shoulder for the goal. Shots favored the Riptide 21-10. Score at the end of one: Wings 4—Riptide 3.
New York started the second quarter on the power play and didn’t take long to capitalize on the advantage. Jean-Luc Chetner (1G, 1A) was the recipient of some good ball movement that had him open at the top and he fired a shot over Higgins’ right shoulder to tie the game at four less than a minute into the second. Philadelphia regained the lead a little less than four minutes later off a pass from Matt Rambo (1G, 2A) to Blaze Riorden right in the middle and his shot went off of both posts and into the bottom corner for the one-goal lead 5-4. It took another nine minutes before either team would score and it would be New York. Digby received a pass on the left side of the floor and took a nice bounce shot around his defender that beat Higgins to the short side up high to tie it up again five all. The shots on goal at the half still favored the Riptide 34-20. Score at the end of two: Wings 5—Riptide 5.
This time it would be the Wings who would start off a frame on the man-up which carried over from the last 10 seconds in the first half. They’d go on a 5 on 3 power play; Crowley with a cross floor pass to Cory Vitarelli (3G, 1A) with quick stick shot to the short side beat Buque to give the Wings his 200th career goal and the lead back at 6–5 only 23 seconds in; a lead that they would not relinquish. Hickey would score once more firing a low side arm bounce shot high to the stick side; and Vitarelli notched his second in the quarter a goal that looked identical to his first as Matisz passed across the floor for the quick stick to the short side to make it 8–5 Wings. Connor Kelly (1G) stopped the Philadelphia run as he sped past his defender; shot on the run to beat Higgins low to the glove side cutting their lead to 8–6 and scored the final goal for New York at the 5:42 mark in the third. Vitarelli completed his hat-trick with 3:42 left in the frame off the pass from Crowley; he went around his defender ; faked outside; then inside and finally shot to the outside past Buque’s arm to give the Wings a 9–6 lead.
It was all Philadelphia in the fourth as they would put up five unanswered tallies. Hickey got it going quickly only 44 seconds in coming around a pick and firing an overhand shot to the bottom corner for his hat trick goal. Rambo got in on the scoring action at 1:17 cutting across the top of the offensive zone; he took a shot across his body to beat Buque to the far post extending their lead to five at 11–6. While on a power play, the Wings completed three quick passes; Rambo found Matisz open in the middle and was able to score under the glove for the Wings once again. Philadelphia would notch another power play tally as Hickey would score his fourth and fifth of the night. The first off a behind the back pass from Crowley, he bounced the shot past Buque to the short side; and the second with another assist from the Matisz feed coming off the bench to Buque glove side. After the goal and with 4:43 left on the ticker, New York pulled Buque and put in Gowah Abrams who made six saves on six shots. Final Score: Wings 14—Riptide 6.
Click the link to check out the Post Game Report “Riptide vs Wings post game and Melt” https://grabyo.com/g/v/6vSn5yDRi8u
Brett Hickey – 5G, 1A
Zach Higgins – 51 saves, 1A
Cory Vitarelli – 3G, 1A
New York: 57 SOG; 10 SOFF; 63 LB; 11-24 FO; 1-1 PP; 17 PIM
Philadelphia: 53 SOG; 16 SOFF; 55 LB; 13-24 FO; 3-6 PP; 6 PIM
New York (1-6) gets right back at it tomorrow night and heads all the way to the West Coast to face the San Diego Seals (1-5) at Pechanga Arena, game time 7:30 p.m. EST. Look to see a high scoring contest with Wes Berg and Connor Fields from the Seals each with 10 goals apiece; and Tyler Digby from the Riptide not too far behind with 8 and Dan Lomas with 7.
The Philadelphia Wings (5-2) is back in action at home on Friday January 31 when they host the Georgia Swarm (2-3) at Wells Fargo Center, game time 7:00 p.m. EST. Georgia wants to break their three-game losing streak as last time they won a game was at home against the Wings on December 14, 2019 by the score 12-6. Philadelphia has found their niche’ and wants to keep up their winning ways. Look for this game to be hard hitting.
Shawn Palmer, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©