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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Albany
11
Buffalo
10
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Rochester
16
Georgia
11
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Colorado
6
Saskatchewan
18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

The Wings are back. Their championship history is, too.

Philadelphia Wings enter inaugural season with championship history in mind

PHILADELPHIA — Before he had a Captain’s “C” slapped on his charcoal jersey, before he exchanged that very garment with the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta and before he ran the “Rocky” steps after scarfing down cheesesteaks from Pat’s and Geno’s, Kiel Matisz was a visitor in this city. Then a rookie with the now-relocated Minnesota Swarm, Matisz in 2013 saw firsthand how the home crowd at the Wells Fargo Center treated visitors.

 

It was not a warm welcome, but a lot has changed in almost six years. The Wings team from those days has a new moniker and plays a few miles up I-95. Matisz, with at least 60 points in each of his last three seasons, has grown into an offensive force in the NLL. That maturation got his name called in this summer’s expansion draft, and earlier this week contributed to his being named captain of the latest installment of box lacrosse in Philadelphia.

 

This weekend, Matisz will hope that the only thing that has stuck — besides, of course, the Wings name — is how fans treat the opposition. That’s because he and the reincarnated Philadelphia Wings return to the Wells Fargo Center to host the Buffalo Bandits in the new franchise’s first ever regular season contest this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The NLL’s Game of the Week can streamed on any device via B/R Live seen in-market on PHL17.

 

I think with such a rich sports culture that Philadelphia has, the fans really back the players,” Matisz said this week. “We want to be able to almost return the favor by playing hard every single shift, being physical and not taking this game for granted.”

 

Because part of that culture includes the Wings club that occupied South Philadelphia from 1987-2014, the league’s 11th franchise has not shied away from its roots. Assistant captain Jordan Hall and assistant coach Tracey Kelusky both played in the former franchise’s last game in the Wells Fargo Center on April 26, 2014. Rookie forward Matt Rambo was coached in high school by Bill Leahy, who occupied the same position for the Wings in the mid-1990s.

 

Before faceoff Saturday, the team will hoist a team banner as a nod to the six Wings championships (1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001), along with three individual banners honoring Tom “Hollywood” Marechek (retired no. 42), Dallas Eliuk (retired no. 35), and Jake Bergey (retired no. 66). This, head coach and general manager Paul Day said, will come after a Friday-night practice that, thanks to a few alumni visits, will double as a reminder that a storied past can affect the present.

 

“We want to make it as good as it was and better,” Day said.

 

A veteran presence from Matisz, Hall and fellow assistant captain Dylan Evans will lead that quest. The forward position is further stacked with the likes of Blaze Riorden, who will miss this weekend’s game on injured reserve, and Josh Currier and Brett Hickey, both capable scorers. Young offensive talents Chris Cloutier, second overall pick of the 2018 entry draft, and Matt Rambo, former Tewaaraton Award winner, offer tons of potential, too.

 

“We’ve built a pretty good group that should be able to score every night,” Day said. “I think our identity is going to be that we’re young and we’re fast and we’re physical and aggressive. Our young guys defensively can really pick up the pace of the game and that’s really the type of identity we want for a team in Philadelphia.”

 

Behind the defense will be two inexperienced but promising goalies. Doug Buchan, who went 8-1 for Day’s Peterborough Lakers of the MSL this summer, joins Davide DiRuscio in net. Both impressed Matisz during a shortened two-week training.

 

“I think the reality is that all of us were picked to play a role on this team,” Matisz said. “As long as you don’t go outside that role, at least early on, and you kind of play to your strengths, we’re going to see success. And I’ve been really impressed with our defensive core back there.”

 

Opposite the Wings netminders will be six-time NLL goalie of the year Matt Vinc, Buffalo’s best hope for improving on an 8-10 campaign that left it out of the 2018 playoffs. The newly-acquired Vinc and a revamped defensive unit should fare better than the seventh-ranked 240 goals the Bandits allowed a season ago.

 

Up front, Corey Small joins an already strong unit led by 100-point scorer Dhane Smith and Shawn Evans, who notched 83 points a season ago between New England and Buffalo. In scrimmage against the Wings two weeks ago, second-year forward Chase Fraser notched four goals.

 

Saturday’s matchup, though, counts for real. It’s will be the revival of an historic NLL rivalry and the culmination of a lengthy team-building process for Day, who since taking the job has aimed for chemistry. He sought guys that had played together before. He wanted leaders. In Matisz, Hall, Evans, and other expansion drafts picks, he found filled those needs. Now it’s time to test how they mesh with the rest of a young roster and a franchise aiming for the playoffs in its first year of competition.

 

“We’re lucky that we have a fresh culture,” Day said. “We have the history of the Wings but we have the fresh locker room and culture…It’s a ‘we’ culture that we want to build. It’s not a ‘me’ culture. And it’s family first. That’s the type of people that we’ve brought here.”

 

NLL