Philadelphia Wings (6-11) beat Vancouver Stealth (4-12) with 15-11 win at Langley Events Centre on Saturday. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
The Philadelphia Wings (6-11) earned a season sweep over the Vancouver Stealth (4-12) with a 15-11 road win at Langley Events Centre on Saturday night. With both teams eliminated from the postseason, the Wings look to finish the season on a strong note.
“Our goal was to finish with the best record possible,” said Wings assistant coach Jim Milligan. “We have a lot of guys who wanted to compete in the room. We lost a lot of tight games this year so I don't think our record reflects our team's compete level, and I think our guys want to finish strong and tonight was a good start.”
Meanwhile, the Stealth are closer to securing a top draft pick after a disappointing season, especially since they reached the finals in three of the four previous seasons.
“We're better than what we showed this year,” said Stealth forward Cliff Smith. “We need to show a level of effort next week, that our fans should expect game in and game out because what we showed this year was not our best.”
Philadelphia and Vancouver opened the night constantly trading goals and the lead in the initial frame. The Wings had six different scorers in the first quarter and shot 54%. Forwards Jordan Hall and Tracey Kelusky led the charge with three points each.
Both teams dug in defensively in the second quarter. A total of two goals were allowed after 12 total goals were scored in the first. Philadelphia was shutout while Vancouver gained a two point lead heading to halftime, up 8-6. Stealth Forward Jamie Lincoln recorded a first half hat trick.
The Wings continued their strong defense and erupted on offense in the third quarter. Philadelphia outscored Vancouver 6-1 to build and three point lead heading to the final 15 minutes of regulation (12-9). Forward Kevin Crowley scored two goals to get on the stat sheet for the evening. Defender Stephen Hoar reached a career milestone by recording his 50th career goal.
Philadelphia repeated in outscoring Vancouver in a quarter to close out the final frame. The Wings won the fourth scoring 3 goals to the Stealth’s two goals. Forwards Jordan Hall and Kyle Buchanan tallied goals in the last 15 minutes.
Backup goalie Kevin Croswell got the start for Philadelphia and earned his first win of 2014 while making 40 saves. 11 different players scored for the Wings. Vancouver-area natives, Kevin Crowley and Jordan Hall had impressive games near home. Combined they added eight points (five goals, three assists) for Philadelphia.
Vancouver drops to 4-12 on the season and have officially been eliminated from playoff contention in 2014. Forwards Brett Bucktooth and Jamie Lincoln both contributed hat tricks of their own and combined for nine of Vancouver’s 26 points.
With Colorado's win earlier in the night, the Stealth knew their fate was sealed.
“We knew the outcome but at the end of the day that game is irrelevant,” said Smith. “We have to play with pride every game no matter what.”
“When the season ends, we will have to reevaluate,” added Smith. “We need to focus on playing a full 60 minutes, not 58, but 60. That’s the biggest hurdle we need to overcome next year.”
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Jordan Hall
2) Jamie Lincoln
3) Tracey Kelusky