February 1, 2014

Wings Defense Shows Progress in Win over Stealth

from Press Release

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) were energized and ready to entertain the home crowd fresh off their bye week. Philadelphia recorded their first home win of the 2014 season by outmatching Vancouver on both ends of the field, resulting in a 15-9 victory.

Forwards Kyle Buchanan and Pat Saunders set the tone for the Wings in the first half. Both recorded hat tricks and combined for 11 points to gain a 10-5 lead for Philadelphia heading into halftime. Philadelphia never trailed in the first half. The Wings dug in on the defensive trenches and held Vancouver to only 21 shots on goal in the first half while also forcing six turnovers. Goalie Evan Kirk was solid in the net in recording 16 first-half saves.

Philadelphia continued to stifle the Stealth in the second half. The Wings only allowed four more goals on the evening. The stars of the game included Kyle Buchanan earning the first star, Pat Saunders earning the second star and Vancouver's Rhys Duch earning the third star.

"The offense performed well tonight," said Head Coach Blane Harrison. "We took advantage of a tired team in Vancouver with them traveling the night before. The defense continues to grow and was impressive [tonight]. Evan Kirk has established himself as one of the league's top starters."

Forwards Jordan Hall, Kyle Buchanan and Pat Saunders turned in impressive all-around performances. The trio contributed 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists). Hall has scored a goal in each game this season. Buchanan made a statement against his former team in Vancouver by scoring four first half goals.

Vancouver was led by Forward Rhys Duch with five points (three assists, two goals). Duch is among the league leaders in scoring, ranking fifth in points (35) and second in goals (18). Last season he had a career high in points (96) and goals (45).

Next week, the Wings will play back-to-back games against the Toronto Rock and Edmonton Rush. The Wings visit Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on Friday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia hosts the undefeated Edmonton Rush at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

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