Wings Close 2011 Season at Swarm this Saturday
The Philadelphia Wings (5-10) of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) will wrap up their 25th Anniversary season this Saturday, April 16, when they travel west to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Swarm (6-8). Faceoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.
The game is a rare out of conference match up for both teams, who play 12 of their 16 regular season contests against teams from their own divisions. In the two teams' last match up-an April 17, 2010 game also played in Minnesota-the Wings claimed victory in overtime by a final score of 13-12. Current Wings Drew Westervelt and Bill McGlone both recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in the win, while goalie Brandon Miller turned away 44 of 56 shots faced in just over 63 minutes of work.
Series Notes: Overall: Tied 7-7 At Philadelphia: Wings 4-3 At Minnesota: Swarm lead 4-3 Last Meeting: April 17, 2010; Philadelphia won in Minnesota 13-12 (OT) (Xcel Energy Center)
About the Swarm: The Swarm (6-8) are currently third in the NLL Western Division and have clinched a playoff spot. Minnesota is fourth in the league on the power play, converting on 41.3% percent of its chances, and third on penalty kills at just 61.6%. The Swarm are 3-3 at home this season.
Minnesota is led by forward Ryan Bensch, whose 82 points on 40 goals and 42 assists rank him third in the NLL in scoring. He is followed by fellow forwards Callum Crawford and Aaron Wilson, the both of whom average more than 3.7 points per game. Benesch and Crawford were joined by teammates Andrew Watt and Nick Patterson is representing the Swarm at this year's NLL All-Star game.
About the Wings: The Wings, (5-10) are currently fifth in the NLL Eastern Division. Philadelphia is seventh in the league on the power play, converting on 37.9% of its chances, and fourth on the penalty kill, successfully defending 60.3% of its opponent's opportunities. The Wings are 3-4 on the road this season.
Athan Iannucci leads the Wings with 29 goals and 31 assists for a total of 60 points this season. "Nooch" recently eclipsed the 250 point mark for his NLL career and now sits just two assists shy of his 100th career "helper." With Iannucci lost to injury the last three games, forward Drew Westervelt has stepped up to carry the team offensively. Westervelt has recorded three hat tricks in his last three games and now sits six points shy of team lead in scoring with 27 goals and 27 assists in 15 games.
The club is also proud to have sent two representatives to the 2011 NLL All-Star Game in Verona, New York last month. Brandon Miller was named the Eastern division starting goaltender, while Max Seibald netted a goal to help the East defeat the West by a final score of 30-26.
Coaches Corner: Wings head coach John Tucker on looking ahead to next season: "We've already started that process. We have recognized our shortages and know where we need help. We had a challenge this year in having 18 new guys on the roster, and, thankfully, we expect far fewer next year. This was sort of a necessary rebuilding year. As for Saturday, we'll be watching quite few guys against Minnesota this weekend who we'll be evaluating for next year. There are definitely some guys fighting for jobs, and so we anticipate putting out a strong effort on Saturday."
Swarm head coach Mike Lines of this weekend's playoff implications for the Western Conference: "We need to come and play our game. We need to play hard, and though we do need a little help, we have to do our work first, get the job done, and let the chips fall where they may. We might try out a few things for the playoffs if we have the opportunity just to see how they work, but we know we've got a job to do, regardless of what any of the other clubs are doing."
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National Lacrosse League Stories from April 13, 2011
- Dawson Recognized as Offensive Player of the Week - Boston Blazers
- Vote for the Reebok High School Player of the Year - NLL
- Wings Close 2011 Season at Swarm this Saturday - Philadelphia Wings
- Bandits Ready to 'Pack the House, Part II' Against the Knighthawks - Buffalo Bandits
- Washington Stealth's Duch Named NLL Player of the Week - Washington Stealth
- Thompson and Montour Earn NLL Recognition - Buffalo Bandits
- Knighthawks' Jamieson Gets a 'High Five' from NLL - Rochester Knighthawks
- Rhys Duch Named Overall Player Of The Week - NLL
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