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Power End Wings Title Defense With 12 11 Win

03/24/2002, 11:56am EST
By National Lacrosse League

PHILADELPHIA - The Washington Power shut out Philadelphia in the final quarter to overtake the Wings, 12-11, Saturday at the First Union Center in front of 10,041 fans. With the win, the Power advances to the semifinals of the NLL playoffs where they will face the Toronto Rock.
The Wings took an 11-9 lead into the final quarter, but were shut out by Washington and let in three goals. Former Wings player Gary Gait scored the winning goal and earned MVP honors with three goals and an assist. Philadelphia ends its season with an 8-9 record.

"They went on a run in the second quarter," said Wings' coach Adam Mueller.

"In the first half they had only one five-on-five goal. They had goals on the power play and on the transition. We take those goals away and it's our game to lose. We corrected those mistakes in the second half, but we couldn't put the ball in the net in the fourth quarter."

The Wings came out firing from the start and took the early lead on goals from Jeff Ratcliffe and Ryan Traynor. Ratcliffe scored the first goal of the game after grabbing his own rebound and Traynor made it 2-0 with a turnaround shot on a pass from Tom Slate. Philadelphia lost some of its energy at the end of the quarter, giving up three unanswered goals, but took the lead once again with two goals in the last minute of play. Paul Cantabene and Josh Sims each scored on breakaways for Washington and Gary Gait netted a power-play goal. Ratcliffe and Jake Bergey rounded out the scoring for Philadelphia.

Washington quickly took control in the second quarter, scoring four goals in a 1:10 span. Del Halladay and Sims each scored two goals in the scoring spree, while Cantabene contributed with two assists. Tom Marechek brought the Wings within two with behind-the-back shot, but the Power took little time
to
get the goal back and add to their lead as Halladay completed the hat trick and league-leading scorer Paul Gait notched his first goal of the game.

Ratcliffe netted his third goal of the game to bring Philadelphia within three going into halftime.

Philadelphia came out of the locker rooms on fire to turn the tables on Washington. The Wings started the quarter with four straight goals in just over two minute. Tony Henderson netted two goals while Bergey and Keith Cromwell each added one. The Power had a chance to swing the momentum with two straight power plays, but Philadelphia was successful on the penalty kills and added a short-handed goal from Tom Slate to take an 11-9 lead into the last quarter. Philadelphia goalie Dallas Eliuk stopped all 12 Washington shots in the period.

Gary Gait scored the Power's first goal in over 20 minutes to start the fourth quarter. Bobby Horsey's first goal of the game evened the score at 11 and the Power took the lead five minutes later as Gary Gait completed the hat trick with four minutes left in regulation. Philadelphia failed to score in the quarter.

Jeff Ratcliffe led the Wings in scoring with four points (3G,1A). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Ryan Traynor (1G,2A),
Tom Marechek (1G,3A), Jake Bergey (2G,2A), Tony Henderson (2G), Tom Slate (1G,1A) and Keith Cromwell (1G,1A).

Gary Gait led the Power in scoring with four points (3G,1A). Five other players scored for Washington, including Paul Gait (1G,3A), Josh Sims (3G), Del Halladay (3G), Paul Cantabene (1G,2A) and Bobby Horsey (1G,1A).

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