The New Jersey Storm (2-4) will look to stop its current three-game losing skid and move up in the standings when it plays two important Eastern Division games this week; a home contest against division rival the Philadelphia Wings (1-3) on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. will be followed by a trip to Colorado to face off with the Mammoth (3-2) at 9 p.m. (7 p.m. Mountain Time).
Currently sitting in second place, the Storm will look to even out its record at (.500) with a weekend sweep over both of its division rivals. Leading the Storm offensive surge has been forwards Roy Colsey (15G, 10A) and Scott Stewart (10G, 8). On the defensive side of the ball, net minder Derek General has been impressive, stopping 186 shots in six games played.
First up for the Storm are: forwards Tom Marecheck (8G, 10), Paul Cantabene (9G, 10A) and the rest of the Philadelphia Wings. The Wings, which currently sit one game behind New Jersey for second place, will be looking to bounce back after dropping its last game to Toronto 13-9. Goalie Dallas Eliuk has once again been tops in net for the Wings this season.
The two teams split their season series last year with Philadelphia claiming a 17-15 win in New Jersey on January 20, 2002 before the Storm retaliated with a 13-11 road victory on February 16, 2002.
On Saturday night, the Storm square off against arguably the best lacrosse player in history of professional indoor lacrosse in Gary Gait (22G, 21A) and the rest of the Colorado Mammoth. In addition to the scoring punch offered by Gait, Colorado has also been paced by forwards Ted Dowling (11G, 23A) and Del Halladay (21G, 10A) The game will also mark the first time that former Storm captain and last year's National Lacrosse League face-off champion Jamie Hanford (2G, 1A) will face his former team. Standing in between the pipes is goalie Erik Miller with 237 saves on the year.
Last season (as the Washington Power) New Jersey also split its two games by dropping a 21-9 road contest on December 15, 2002 in Washington before getting the equalizer on February 15, 2002 with a 15-8 victory at the Meadowlands.
Both games will prove to be a challenge on the face-off with four of the all-time top League draw men set to square off with the Storm's Gordon Purdie (1G, 1A), Philadelphia's Cantabene and Peter Jacobs (0G,0A) and Colorado's Hanford.
Tickets for Thursday's game can be obtained by calling (201) 507-8900, in-person at the Continental Airlines Arena box office or any Ticketmaster location, or online via Ticketmaster.com. For more information call 1-866-NJ STORM. The first 2,500 fans will receive free Storm rally towels. The game is also being televised live on Fox Sports Net - New York.
Both games can be heard live on JBN Media and NJ.com/Storm with Joe Nolan and Josh Blumenthal calling all the Storm action.