What’s that familiar mantra that a lot of people claim at the beginning of a new year? “New year, new me. ” That sounds about right. That’s the mood of the Philadelphia Wings as they travel to New York to challenge the Riptide. At the early stages of this NLL season, this is a “sink or swim” game for both of these franchises.
Heading to NYCB Live tonight, the Philadelphia Wings are balancing a 1-1 record after gaining a win with 1.8 seconds left in regulation against the Calgary Roughnecks. Matt Rambo ended that war with a lethal strike, putting a hard bounce shot into the back of the net. Their opponents, the New York Riptide, are 0-4 on the season. They’re looking for their first win, making them a dangerous team. What is synonymous in sports is the team with no wins is a trap, because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Tonight’s game is the first-ever between the Philadelphia Wings and the New York Riptide. We have to go back to 2008 for the last time the Wings played in New York. In 2008, Philadelphia was victorious, 20-13, at the prestigious Madison Square Garden against the former New York Titans. The last time the Wings played at NYCB Live was in 2007. They were also victorious against the Titans, 16-11.
In the pre-season, the New York Riptide faced the Philadelphia Wings in a very physical game. That’s what we like in Philadelphia. Before the first faceoff tonight, it should be understood that this Philadelphia versus New York lacrosse rivalry is back on. To keep their winning ways, the Wings will have to play the brand of defense that they brought to Calgary. Watching that game, Philadelphia loves to punch teams in the mouth.
“The Big Cat” Kevin Crowley makes a return of sorts tonight. He played college lacrosse at Stony Brook and is on the New York Lizards roster in the MLL. Crowley has been the go-to man on the Philadelphia Wings so far this season, tallying 11 points. He isn’t the only player that the New York Riptide has to worry about. Trevor Baptiste is a faceoff guru and the Wings momentum begins with him.
When looking at the splits between the New York Riptide this season in comparison to how the Philadelphia Wings play, the Riptide is scoring just a little more per game than the Wings. Philadelphia averages more shots per game and runs away with the faceoff win percentage. Connor Kelly has 13 points this season for the Riptide, which leads the team. Dan Lomas and Tyler Digby lead New York with six goals in four games. A knee-jerk reaction as a prediction shows that the Wings seem to have the advantage.
Faceoff takes place at 7:30 pm from NYCB Live in Uniondale, New York and can be seen on NLL TV, NLL Live, and Bleacher Report Live. Follow @EricReesePSN on Twitter for coverage of the Philadelphia Wings at New York Riptide.
Photo credit: Alex Mcintyre