Saturday could’ve been a clean sweep of victories for the City of Brotherly Love.
The Philadelphia Eagles manhandled the New York Giants, paving the lane for an NFC Championship showdown. The Philadelphia Flyers were on the road, getting themselves together against the Detroit Red Wings. The Philadelphia Union began their preseason with a win. Everything was coming up ‘Philadelphia.’
The Philadelphia Wings faceoff time changed a week in advance, from 7pm to 1pm. It created a loophole where all the Eagles fans could get into the parking lots if they bought a ticket for the contest versus the Toronto Rock. Many did, though they did begin planned festivities in their parking spaces.
The Wells Fargo Center needed the electricity of brazen, unfiltered Philadelphia fans ready for a long day of action. The Wings were grounded by the Rock.
Philadelphia Wings vs. Toronto Rock
Since their re-entry into the NLL, Philadelphia hasn’t defeated Toronto. In the first quarter, both goaltenders stood their ground. Blaze Riorden put the Wings on the scoreboard, selecting his shot on the crease to a 1-0 lead. Then, Mitch de Snoo started a thirteen-goal run for the Rock.
At the end of the first, the score knotted 1-1. At the end of the half, Toronto ran away with the game, 8-1. Challen Rogers and Tom Schreiber were on hat-trick alert by halftime, but Dan Craig beat them to the feat with a fast start to the third quarter.
The Rock continued to blaze through the Wings, shutting them down for two consecutive quarters. Schreiber did complete his hat-trick bid, making it two for Toronto. Heading into the final quarter, Philadelphia trailed 12-1.
“Our message was show up; show the [explicit] up. Pretty disappointed. The first and fourth were okay, but the second quarter was real disappointing.”Paul Day; 1/21/2023
Schreiber notched five goals in the victory before the Wings began to play for pride. Matt Rambo, denoted as questionable for the game, scored in the fourth quarter. Joe Resetarits tallied two in the final frame, with help from the newcomer, Taite Cattoni. Speaking of Cattoni, he finished the game with a goal from the point, but the Rock still won by nine, 14-5.
A Learning Curve
Some locker rooms look forward to the next game, ready to respond to a blowout loss. We’ve watched that with the Philadelphia Flyers in their rebuild, especially following the loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last week on home ice.
Paul Day had a different approach. On the losing end, his team had lessons to learn from getting beat down by Toronto. Overlooking, putting this result in the rear-view could be a critical error:
“We definitely want to learn from this. A big mistake is ‘put it behind us,’ because our gameplan, video, everything we did; we said ‘this is what they’re going to do, this is how we have to stop it.”Paul Day; 1/21/2023
The flow of the game was forced. Forcing the transition when it wasn’t there put the onus squarely on the defense for minutes at a time. Offensively, the time of possession battle wasn’t competitive. Philadelphia couldn’t find a rhythm during the bulk of regulation.
Next, the Philadelphia Wings host the Buffalo Bandits on Friday, February 27th, 2023 at 7pm. The game will be available on ESPN+.
(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)