TORONTO, ONTARIO - The Philadelphia Wings won their sixth NLL Championship Title with a 9-8 win Friday at the Air Canada Centre in front of 19,409 fans. Dallas Eliuk (left) was named Most Valuable Player for his 40 save performance.
Wings Captain Dave Stilley hoists the NLL Champions Cup
"I don't think we could've written a better script to win a Championship game," said Wings' coach Tony Resch. "Our defense came through for us as we knew we would need them to, and Dallas made up for them the rest of the time. This was just an awesome win!"
This is the sixth World Championship for the Philadelphia Wings; they also won the title in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995 and 1998. They were eliminated from post-season play by the Rock the past two seasons during the semi-final round.
Philadelphia scored the first two goals of the Championship game with points from Mark Millon and Tom Phair. Toronto answered with a goal from Kim Squire, only to be followed up by a Wings goal from Jake Bergey to end the quarter at 3-1.
Philadelphia kept up the momentum with three straight goals in the second quarter. Rookie Jeff Ratcliffe scored quickly with just over a minute on the clock; Phair and Millon both added their second goals of the game. Kaleb Toth added the only Rock goal with just :16 second left in the half to end the half at 6-2. Goalie Dallas Eliuk made 20 saves in the first half.
Philadelphia continued their domination of the game allowing only one goal from Toth mid-way in the third. Philadelphia added two more with a hat-trick by Millon and First Team All-Pro Tom Marechek netting his first of the game to end the scoring at 8-3.
Toronto picked up the momentum in the final quarter of play. Jim Veltman scored his first of the game. Marechek answered with his second goal. Toronto fought back adding three more goals, from Squire and Toth, to bring the score to 9-7. Gill added a final goal with less than one second to go but it wasn't enough for the win.
Mark Millon led the Wings in scoring with three goals (3G). Four other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Tom Phair (2G, 1A), Tom Marechek (2G, 1A), Jake Bergey (1G) and Jeff Ratcliffe (1G).
Kaleb Toth led the Rock in scoring with three goals (3G). Four other players scored for Toronto, including Jim Veltman (1G), Kim Squire (2G, 1A), Dan Stroup (1G), and Chris Gill (1G, 1A).
NOTES: Fans are encouraged to welcome the Philadelphia Wings when they arrive at the Philadelphia International Airport from Toronto tomorrow, April 28 at 12:43 p.m. via US Airways flight #1103 at terminal B10. Tonight's game was the largest crowd to ever to see a Wings lacrosse game, it also broke the NLL record for the largest crowd.