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Wings try for another 'W' tonight against Rock

01/15/2013, 2:30pm EST
By NLL.com

Philadelphia's American-led roster visits undefeated Toronto on Saturday

The Philadelphia Wings (1-0) visit the Toronto Rock (2-0) for their 2013 NLL regular season home opener on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET at Air Canada Centre. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Philadelphia Wings (1-0) fly into the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. road matchup against the Toronto Rock (2-0) in their 2013 National Lacrosse League regular season home opener.

Watch the game live in Philadelphia on Comcast Sportsnet and live on TSN 2 and TSN Mobile in Canada while fans in the U.S. can watch on ESPN 3. Watch the game live on the NLL on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network outside of North America.

The Wings, coming off their season-opening 13-8 home win against the Buffalo Bandits, will face an undefeated Rock team that won both road games in Alberta this past weekend.

"We wanted to get out to a good start, which we did," said Wings assistant captain Brett Manney. "Playing with each other collectively for the first time, I thought we accomplished a lot. Afterwards, it was 'hey, it was just one game but let's build on it.' Try to repeat it this weekend in Toronto, which will be a tough task."

The Wings emerged the victors in the previous meeting between the two teams last season as they edged the Rock in Toronto by a score of 12-10 last March. But the Rock still hold a 22-12 record in the head-to-head series, including an 11-5 record when playing the Wings in Toronto.

However, past performances might not guarantee future results because Philadelphia's style of play seems to be constantly evolving as the team continues to be predominantly built with American players.

"It's no secret that our strategy has been to fill our roster with as many capable U.S. ball players as we can and surround them with five or six of the best Canadians who will help mentor them," said Wings general manager and head coach Johnny Mouradian. "It was a very big win for our franchise."

Philadelphia's American and Canadian players both head into the game in Toronto with maybe something to prove to those who doubt their roster strategy will work.

"A little bit of a chip on our shoulder," said Manney, an American who played collegiately at the University of Delaware. "I even think more so for our Canadians. We only have five or six that are on our team. They'll be playing with a chip on their shoulder too, but we just want to be a team that wins games. We all want to win a championship. Everybody in the locker room wants to win and achieve that ultimate goal."

This game will mark the first of three contests between the Wings and the Rock this season. After this weekend’s game, the teams will meet two times in Philadelphia, once in March and again in the regular season finale for the Wings on Saturday, April 13.

“Toronto always plays well at home in front of their crowd,” Manney said. “But we’re heading out there with some momentum and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

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