For the second consecutive season the Philadelphia Wings were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Rochester Knighthawks by a score of 10-8 at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.
Rochester opened up by taking a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, causing many Wings fans at home as well as those in attendance shaking there heads thinking, ”this is going to get ugly”. But the Wings pulled it together in the second quarter scoring 4 of the next 5 goals to tie the game at four. Two goals by Dan Dawson ended the half with the Knighthawks up 6-4. Both teams had multiple chances to make the score larger then what it was, but solid defense and goaltending on both ends of the floor prevented any more goals being scored.
Going into the third quarter the Wings had to feel pretty good, only down by two and getting there chances from in close. For Rochester they had the lead at 6-4, but an ankle injury to Cody Jamieson in the second quarter sidelined him for the rest of the game. As of now the extent of the injury is unknown. The Wings battled back in the third scoring two of the three goals cutting Rochester’s lead to 7-6. The Wings had a chance early in the third when Dylan Evans was assessed a five minute major for high sticking and only able to score one goal during the five minute power play.
As we started the final quarter the Wings struck early as Brendan Mundorf put one past Matt Vinc just :21 in to tie the game at seven. For the next nine minutes both teams again could of ran away with the game, but once again defense’s and goaltending kept it tied. After Craig Points goal at 9:20 gave the Knighthawks an 8-7 lead, Paul Dawson would get the game winner at 13:37 giving the Hawks a two goal lead at 9-7. Mike Accursi and Jeff Reynolds would each score for their teams as the final buzzer sounded giving the Knighthawks a 10-8 victory, punching their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final. For the Wings the streak of playoff losses since winning the title in 2001 continues.
Former Wing Dan Dawson tallied 4 goals and 2 assists to lead the Knighthawks as six other players for Rochester, including Paul Dawson (GWG) scored in the victory. Rochester will now sit and wait for their opponent. Tomorrow the Toronto Rock will host the Minnesota Swarm. A Minnesota win and Rochester will host next weekend. A Rock win and Rochester will return to Toronto like last season for the Eastern Conference Title.
For the Wings, Drew Westervelt tallied 2 goals and 2 assists to lead the Wings, Mundorf and Crowley also tallied twice. Now the Wings face another off season of questions that need answers.
1.. Goaltending…Need a reliable back-up for Miller, someone who could possibly be a starter as well.
2.. Defense. Rookies played well. Could use another solid veteran.
3.. Offense.. Definitely could use another big socrer, team scored league low 170
4.. 6 of 9 defeats were between 5-10 goals. If they want fans returning they need to stop losing by large margins that account for most of their losses.
It;s 4 ½ months til the draft, and 6 ½ til the start of training camp.