January 30, 2010

Blazers Edge Wings; Dawson Posts Six Points

by Patrick Gordon | NLL.com

Dan Dawson scored four goals to go along with two assists and goaltender Anthony Cosmo recorded 38 saves to lead the Boston Blazers over the Philadelphia Wings, 11-9, in front of 7,289 fans at the TD Garden on Saturday.

Daryl Veltman cemented the Blazers' win with his goal late in the fourth quarter. He finished with four goals and an assist in the win.

"We have been making steady improvements over the past couple games," said Blazers Head Coach Tom Ryan. "We started out 0-3 and maybe that loss in Toronto was a good thing. We've been asking for a big effort out of the guys and I think we got that tonight. Our defense has played well for three weeks in a row and our offense has scored when they needed to."

Dawson, the reigning NLL MVP, scored on all four of his shots on net and picked up six loose balls.

"He's one of the more intelligent players I've ever been around," Ryan said. "He understands the game and how it works. You saw it today, they have two or three guys around him and he still can get a shot off. He's very difficult to cover with one or two guys and he plays the floor really well."

Drew Westervelt, who entered the contest as the Wings' leading goal scorer, finished with a goal and four assists. Mat Giles netted three goals to go along with a pair of assists and Kyle Wailes added a pair in the losing effort.

"I thought we probably played better offensively than our goals indicated," said Wings Head Coach Dave Huntley. "Defensively I think we gave them a lot of easy goals and we had some mental breakdowns and they capitalized on it and the next thing you know they get the win and we get the loss."

Kevin Huntley's goal with one second remaining in the second half cut Boston's (2-3) lead to 7-5 and capped an entertaining quarter that saw the teams combined for eight goals and 23 shots on net.

Giles and Westervelt notched back-to-back goals within a 17-second span late in the second quarter to bring Philadelphia (1-3) within two before Brenden Thenhaus answered with a goal from the outside to push the Blazers to a 7-4 lead.

Thenhaus finished with a goal and three assists to go along with four loose balls.

Giles netted a power play goal early in the second quarter to bring the Wings within one before Boston's Gary Binning netted a goal and Dawson added a pair within a 22-second span to push the Blazers lead to 6-2.

Brandon Miller stopped 30 of 41 shots in the losing effort.
Geoff Snider picked up an assist and won 12 faceoffs, but led the Wings with 11 penalty-minutes and played a role in a third quarter saddled with seven roughing penalties.

"We have played Philadelphia six times in two years, so when you play against a team that many times you create a dislike for them," Dawson said. "There is a rivalry there, and the division is so close this year so every game matters."

The loss knocked the Wings to fifth place in the Eastern Division.

"We have to make other teams work as hard for the results as we're working," Huntley said. "Right now we are doing a good job of beating ourselves and teams in this league are good enough that they don't need our help. That happened last week and it happened again this week."

Both clubs will face off against divisional rivals next week as Philadelphia visits Toronto and Boston entertains Rochester.

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