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WINGS CLIP 'HAWKS, 10-8
02/23/2013 - 9:50pm

(February 24, 2013)... The Philadelphia Wings snapped a 11-game losing streak to Rochester with a 10-8 victory over the Knighthawks at The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night.
 
Tied at eight in the fourth quarter, Drew Westervelt scored Philadelphia’s first power play goal to give the Wings a 9-8 advantage. Brodie Merrill cashed in an empty-netter with 0.1 seconds remaining to drive the nail in the coffin.
 
“We came out with a real good start and guys were doing what we need them to do,” said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen. “Then we got away from it.”
 
In back-to-back games on February 8 and 9, the Knighthawks earned decisive wins over Buffalo and Philadelphia. However, in the two weeks since, they have dropped both rematches.
 
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, this one especially since we had this lesson last week where Buffalo came into our barn and took it to us,” Hasen said. “We should have learned from that lesson and been a lot more prepared and more willing to battle for 60 minutes instead of taking shifts off and periods off.”
 
The win gives Philadelphia (3-3) sole possession of third place in the East Division, two games out of first place. Rochester (3-5) drops to three games behind Toronto, and is 1-4 at home at the halfway point of their season.
 
“[It feels good], especially after the last one, losing 20-10, and last year in the playoffs they beat us by one,” said Philadelphia Head Coach Johnny Mouradian. “We have to win those types of games, especially in our own division. We’re very proud of our guys. We outworked them.”
 
Goaltender Brandon Miller made 39 saves on 47 shots, holding to Knighthawks to the fewest goals in a game against the Wings since Rochester scored seven in a loss to Philadelphia on April 1, 2006.
 
“This league is all about goaltending,” Mouradian said. “Miller played a game and gave us an opportunity to score goals.”
 
The Wings recovered from deficits of four at the end of the first quarter and two at the end of the first half. After being shutout 4-0 in the first 15 minutes, Philadelphia opened the second quarter with four unanswered of their own. Former Knighthawk Jordan Hall began the streak with an unassisted goal at 4:12.
 
“We had some bye weeks plus some back-to-backs. It just felt like forever since we had a win,” Hall said.
 
“This was the last team we played. I know they had a game in between this, but we still had a 20-10 loss fresh in our mouths. We played with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder,” he added.
 
With a 6-4 lead 5:33 into the third, Cody Jamieson and Merrill each took a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, while Johnny Powless and Mike Manley earned five minutes for fighting. Without those two players on the floor for Rochester, the Wings completed their second four-goal run. Kevin Buchanan scored two consecutive goals, the first giving Philadelphia its first lead at 7-6 midway through the third, while Rochester was held scoreless in the frame.
 
“We’re only getting two goals in the second half, but we were missing two of our best players in Cody Jamieson and Johnny Powless for 15 minutes there, and that really kills us,” Matt Vinc said.
 
Rochester was able to recover and tie the game again at eight early in the fourth. Casey Powell scored unassisted on a behind-the-back shot while being covered one-on-one by Hall. Powless scored the tying goal 53 seconds later.
 
Vinc made 44 saves on 53 shots, and heading into Sunday’s game ranks first in goal-against average (9.97) saves (344) and save percentage (.813).
 
“[Vinc] is giving us games to win and we just haven’t had a chance to have his back,” Dan Dawson said. “I think our execution offensively, we let our team down.”
 
The Wings were led offensively by Kevin Crowley (2+3), Buchanan (2+2) and Westervelt (2+2). Powell (3+1) led all scorers with a hat trick, while Jamieson added four points (1+3).
 
Philadelphia will complete their back-to-back weekend as they host Colorado on Sunday, February 24 at 4 p.m. Next Saturday, March 2nd, the Knighthawks travel to Colorado to face the Mammoth at 9 p.m.
 
“Every single week we need to keep on getting better and stick with that mentality that we will get better,” Jamieson said. “We’re at the halfway mark right now and there’s a lot of hill still left to climb. That’s a positive we can take out of it; we’re only halfway through.”


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