The Wings upset the league-leading Buffalo Bandits, 15-12,
Saturday at the First Union Center in front of 15,097 fans. The Bandits had lost just one game this season. Dan Marohl led the Wings to their fourth straight victory with three goals and three assists and captain Tom Marechek contributed with two goals and six assists. Goalie Dallas Eliuk earned his seventh win with 41 saves.
"It was one of the best wins I've been associated with," said Wings' coach Adam Mueller. "We had a lot of big ones in the past. But this one was up there, with Buffalo coming in with near-perfect record and us struggling.
They have a very physical, tough, hard-nosed defense. Our offense showed they can stand up and play with anyone. We kept fighting and fighting and the goals fell. It was a great game."
The Wings took control of the game by scoring on their first three shots in the opening two minutes of play. Dan Marohl started the scoring and Tony Henderson and Mark Frye continued the offense. Frye added a short-handed goal before the Saints finally got by goalie Dallas Eliuk with shots by Jason Crosbie and John Tavares. Following Tavares' goal, a brawl broke out between all the players on the field. It took the referees over 10 minutes to figure out the 35 minutes worth of penalties that were handed out.
The Wings continued to dominate following the fights with two goals by Keith Cromwell and Marohl's second of the game. The Bandits had the last say as Duane Jacobs tallied in the final minute of the quarter.
The Bandits stole the second quarter with five unanswered goals to take their first lead of the game. Jonas Derks got Buffalo started 32 seconds into play. Duane Jacobs completed the hat trick in the quarter and Lindsay Plunkett and Mark Steenhuis contributed with a goal each. Buffalo goalie Steve Dietrich shut out Philadelphia in the quarter with 11 saves. The Bandits took a one-goal lead into the lockers rooms.
The two teams combined for just three goals in the third quarter. Jeff Ratcliffe netted both goals for Philadelphia, while Crosbie added his second for Buffalo. The game was knotted at nine with one quarter remaining.
Buffalo struck first in the final quarter with a goal by Derks, but Philadelphia answered with Marohl's third of the night. Plunkett gave the Bandits an 11-10 lead before the Wings put together a string of three goals to go up by two goals. Henderson, Drew Candy and Tom Marechek led the streak for Philadelphia. The Bandits managed to make up one goal with a shot by Tavares, but the Wings added to their lead with a goal by Ratcliffe and an empty-netter by Marechek after Buffalo pulled its goalie.
Tom Marechek led the Wings in scoring with eight points (2G,6A). Six other players scored goals for Philadelphia, including Mark Frye (2G,3A), Tony Henderson (2G,3A), Keith Cromwell (2G,4A), Jeff Ratcliffe (3G,2A), Dan Marohl (3G,3A) and Drew Candy (1G).
John Tavares led the Bandits in scoring with seven points(2G,5A). Five other players scored for Buffalo including Mark Steenhuis (1G,1A), Lindsay Plunkett (2G,1A), Jonas Derks (2G,2A), Duane Jacobs (3G) and Jason Crosbie (2G,2A).