March 9, 2012

Wings Down Toronto in Key NLL East Game

from press release

TORONTO - The ­­­­Philadelphia Wings defeated the Toronto Rock, 12-10, on Friday night to seize sole possession of first place in the East Division.

The win was the second for Philadelphia (5-4) in Toronto this year and just the fifth in 16 games all-time at the Air Canada Centre.

Both coaching staffs expressed the importance of this game earlier in the week.  The contest was very physical throughout and had a playoff atmosphere.

The Wings led 2-1 after one quarter, powered by a goal from captain Brodie Merrill and a short-handed breakaway tally by Dan Dawson, who led the Wings with three goals and three assists on the night.

Drew Westervelt scored short-handed 49 seconds into the second to extend Philadelphia’s lead to two goals, but that was as big as it would get in the first half.  The Rock would outscore the Wings 4-2 before the break, getting power-play goals from Garrett Billings, Josh Sanderson and Colin Doyle.

A big factor in the game was the return of Doyle.  The Rock’s captain made his presence felt early with a hand in four of Toronto’s five first-half goals, and finished with two goals and four assists on the night.

Early in the third, it was Westervelt again. The big forward scored two straight power-play goals to put the Wings back on top.  The hat trick gives Westervelt 23 goals on the season.

The teams combined for nine goals in the final quarter. Mike Hominuck scored twice to open the frame and five the Wings a 9-6 lead. Toronto drew within 11-10 on Kasey Beirnes’ goal with 2:03 left, but David Brock closed out the scoring with an empty-netter.  

Brandon Miller was solid in net for the Wings with 39 saves on 49 shots.  Matt Roik stopped 32 of 43 shots for Toronto (4-5).

Billings had a goal with seven assists and Sanderson chipped in with two goals and four assists – including the 700th helper of his career – but the Rock fell to 1-3 on their season-high five-game homestand.

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