After starting the 2019-2020 regular season with a loss to the Georgia Swarm, the Philadelphia Wings bounced back with an 8-7 victory against the Calgary Roughnecks. On the road, the Wings weren’t going to have a home crowd to rally with. The Roughnecks were ready to head out of the Scotiabank Saddledome with a 3-1 record this season, but Philadelphia brought their grit. Grit is a shared fortitude to make plays with the game on the line. That is exactly what happened in the closing seconds of this game.
In the last meeting, the Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Philadelphia Wings in a comparably high scoring affair. That was on April, 16th of 2019 by a final of 18-13. The landscape has changed and so have the faces. No one was able to create separation in the first quarter as the Wings found themselves tied with the Roughnecks, 4-4. The goal scorers for Philadelphia was a who’s who of offensive talent: Matt Rambo, Brett Hickey, Kevin Crowley, and Trevor Baptiste.
Philosophies and game flow changed in the second period. The Calgary Roughnecks clamped down on the Philadelphia Wings, not allowing them to score a single goal in the second quarter. While the Wings were shut down in the second quarter, they should be praised for only allowing a single goal to the Roughnecks. Usually, when a team is held scoreless, that is the turning point that decides wins and losses. For Calgary, the odds just weren’t in their favor.
Defensively, the Philadelphia Wings kept the intensity in the third quarter. Only allowing one more goal, the Wings made sure that they gave themselves a fighting chance to make a run in the fourth quarter. Kevin Crowley scored his second goal of the game in the third quarter, keeping up with that tight margin. Philadelphia allowed the Calgary Roughnecks no room for error. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Roughnecks barely led, 6-5.
This was all that was left in the tank for both teams. Another stout quarter of defense from the Philadelphia Wings helped them come back and win. For the third straight quarter, the Wings only surrendered a single goal to the Calgary Roughnecks. Cory Vitarelli contributed with his first goal of the night, Kevin Crowley completed the hat trick, and Matt Rambo tallied the game-winner with just over a second remaining. When you pay your admission to watch the NLL, you live for games like this.
When the clock read all zeroes, the Philadelphia Wings edged out a win against the Calgary Roughnecks in Calgary, 8-7. Roughnecks forward, Curtis Dickson, precisely diagnosed the issue with the Calgary offense against the Wings:
“Offensively, we stunk. As a whole, as a unit, we need to be better.”Curtis Dickson; 12/28/19
A win like this is huge for the Philadelphia Wings before 2020. Knocking off the reigning and defending NLL champions will provide much-needed momentum going into their third game of this season. The first game for the Wings in 2020 is worth having your eyes glued to the coverage. Being a 4-14 team last season wins like this mean the world to Philadelphia. Like the rest of the teams from this city, the Wings can hang with anyone.
The Calgary Roughnecks didn’t leave this game without casualties. Jesse King left in the second quarter with an apparent shoulder after taking a shot into the boards. After the game, King was in a sling. The Roughnecks have a break until January 18th, 2019 while the Philadelphia Wings are back on January 4th, 2019 as they visit the New York Riptide. That game is at 7:30 pm at NYCB Live.