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Flying high: Wings soar past Mammoth, 14-12

02/24/2013, 6:20pm EST
By NLL.com

Crowley, Rabil, Ross and Westervelt help Philly earn weekend sweep

The Philadelphia Wings (4-3) earned a weekend sweep with a 14-12 home win over the Colorado Mammoth (2-5) at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday afternoon.

After a bye weekend last week amidst a three-game losing streak, the Wings defeated the Rochester Knighthawks by a score of 10-8 on Saturday night and earned back-to-back wins to get their record back above .500.

"What a difference a couple weeks make," said ings general manager and head coach Johnny Mouradian. "We are a very committed group right now and we have seen a real big transition."

Wings transition player Paul Rabil opened the scoring 1:34 into the game, but Mammoth forward Adam Jones answered just 12 seconds later to tie game at 1-1. Sean Pollock’s two first-quarter goals helped Colorado to a 5-3 lead after the first 15 minutes.

"We stayed positive and realized that it was a 60-minute game," said Wings forward Kevin Ross. "It doesn't matter if you're down in the first quarter, you have to stay focused, and I think that's what we did."

Ross regained the lead for Philadelphia midway through the second quarter for a 7-6 lead and the Wings never looked back as they led the rest of the way. Drew Westervelt scored twice in a 10-second span to widen the lead to 9-6 with 5:19 left in the first half. Colorado answered but trailed 9-7 at halftime.

"Early on today, we were down 5-2 and we came back," Mouradian said. "It takes a little bit to get us going and once we got it going, we seemed to feel really good and confident. We talked about the three rights: the right focus, the right attitude and the right feeling."

Mammoth forward John Grant, Jr. cut the deficit to 9-8 early in the second half but Westervelt and Ross responded before Jones cut the Wings lead to 11-9 at the end of the third quarter.

Jones pulled the Mammoth closer with his third goal 3:25 into the fourth quarter. Wings forward Kevin Crowley made it 12-10 less than three minutes later. Jones again narrowed the lead with his fourth goal 21 seconds later.

Wings captain Brodie Merrill scored less than a minute later and Rabil completed his hat trick with 3:06 left for a 14-11 lead. Grant, Jr. scored shorthanded to pull Colorado back within two with 41 seconds remaining but playing a man down with a two-goal deficit was too much to overcome.

Ross finished with a team-high seven points (3+4), Kevin Buchanan (1+5) and Crowley each had six points (2+4), Westervelt had a team-high four goals and finished with five points (4+1) while Rabil scored a hat trick with a four-point game (3+1).

"We are really moving the ball," Mouradian said. "We're swinging the ball, we're cutting to the goal hard and we are creating space for each other. When that happens, with the players we have, we are very dangerous."

Jones (4+3) and Mammoth captain Gavin Prout (1+6) paced Colorado with seven points each, Pollock had six points (3+3) and Grant, Jr. recorded five points (3+2) in the losing effort.

Wings goalie Brandon Miller made 45 saves on 57 shots while Mammoth netminders Matt Roik and Dan Lewis combined to make 33 stops on 47 shots.

"We had to get back to a physical game," said Wings forward Drew Westervelt. "I think you saw that on both the defensive and offensive sides. We can be athletic, we can be big, we can be physical and we needed to get back to that way of playing and I think we did this weekend."

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