January 8, 2010

NLL: Titans Top Wings, 13-8, in Orlando Debut

Week 1 Coverage

* Scoreboard
* Titans Top Wings in Orlando Debut
* Rock Scorches Blazers in Season Opener
* Grant, Gait Dazzle in Dream Team Debut for Knighthawks
* Stealth Pulls Mammoth in Everett Debut

by Patrick Gordon | NLL.com

Casey Powell scored four goals and goaltender Matt Vinc recorded 41 saves to lead the Orlando Titans over the Philadelphia Wings, 13-8, in front of 8,145 fans in the season opener for both teams at Amway Arena on Friday.

Powell, who led the Titans (1-0) in scoring last year with 40 goals and 85 points, finished his night with five points and 12 shots on goal.

"When you get used to Casey it becomes almost hard not to expect great things from him," said Titans coach Ed Comeau. "When he has the ball on his stick, and what he does for the other guys, he shows how he is a premier player in the league and he really showed that tonight."

The Titans went on a scoring spree in the second quarter with four different players notching seven straight goals en route to a commanding 8-3 halftime advantage.

In addition to Powell, six other players scored on the evening for the Titans with ten players picking up at least a point. Pat Maddalena and Mike McLellan notched two goals each.

"We knew they were going to press and were able to find some openings and a few fast breaks in transition made that a really big run for us," Powell said.

Orlando's offense sputtered for much of the first quarter until McLellan and Greg Peyser notched a pair goals within a seven second span, pushing Orlando ahead 3-2, and ultimately for good.

"We were shorthanded early, so that threw us out of sync, but once we got past that we got some momentum through our transition game and our offense got the ball moving and that created some opportunities for us," Comeau said.

The Wings (0-1), already offensively challenged by the loss of all-star forwards Athan Iannuci and Merrick Thomson, failed to sustain any sort of continuous offensive pressure in the Titans zone. The team struggled mightily at even strength, with four of their eight goals coming via the power play. The offense came alive briefly in the fourth quarter when Mat Giles and Bill McGlone scored back-to-back goals but the momentum quickly faded.

"We started the game pretty good but we created some goals for them and they took advantage of some of the mistakes we made," said Wings coach Dave Huntley. "We won the second-half 6-5, but unfortunately we lost the first-half 8-3. We had some quality chances but we hit the posts and their goalie made the saves. We probably weren't as good on transition with the ball as we would expect to be too."

Drew Westervelt scored four goals and accounted for 17 of the Wings 49 shots on net. Dan Teat, making his Philadelphia debut, notched the Wings first goal and finished with a pair to go along with two assists.

Though the game was the season opener for both teams, it was the Titans first ever in Orlando and Bill Greer scored the first goal of the 2010 season on a breakaway early in the first quarter.

Philadelphia hosts Boston in its home opener next Saturday, while Orlando enjoys an early season bye before visiting Boston on Jan. 23.

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