On Sunday night, we witnessed the Philadelphia Wings fight their way to a 12-4 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks- literally.
The Wings rallied to an easy victory. This, however, did not sit well with the Knighthawks, who continued to pick fights toward the end of the game. In a game where the teams combined for 35 penalities and 104 penalty minutes, there was one shining point that went almost unnoticed:
It’s fun to watch different guys take their turns each game posting stats on the stat sheet. Guys like Matt Rambo, Josh Currier, Kevin Crowley, nearly every other forward posting hat tricks on different nights. It shows the unselfishness of this offense, and how chemistry is building between the guys. And, let’s not forget the fact that the majority of the fights last night were guys coming in defense of their teammates.
These guys are truly battling for each other.
However, scoring is all fun and games, but one key aspect of the Wings’ season so far is their goaltending. Zach Higgins is having a career year, and it’s going under the radar.
The Wings and Bandits swapped goaltenders this offseason, with Zach Higgins heading to Philadelphia in exchange for Doug Buchan. Philadelphia mainstay Brandon Miller is also back for the team in goal after a year away from the league, but Higgins’ play has kept him out of the net.
Going into last night’s game against Rochester, Higgins quietly was showcasing a sub-10 goals-against-average. Thus, after only allowing a mere four goals to the Knighthawks, his GAA is below nine.
With a third of the season finished, and the Wings sitting at 4-2, they have their goaltending to thank. Higgins has almost 250 saves thus far, which is on pace to break Anthony Cosmo’s record of 752, which was set back in 2014.
Even by simply using the eye test, Higgins’ impact has sprung the Wings to accelerate their rebuild. After each save, you see their speedy transition happen, where the offense consistently catches their opponents in odd-man situations. The Wings sit second in the league with 66 goals for, and third in goal differential, which can both stem back to Higgins’ goaltending.
So far on the season, Higgins has accumulated 248 saves (.824 save %) and an 8.89 goals-against average. Prior to this season, he has struggled to start on a consistent basis. Last time he consistently starred between the pipes, he accumulated 831 minutes played, where he made 526 saves (.765 save %) with an 11.7 GAA.
With other features of this Wings’ team clicking, their goaltending was a concern coming into the season. However, Higgins is locking all windows and doors, and the once thought rebuild season is slowly turning into a battle for the playoffs.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University