Titans in First Place After Win over Wings
by Patrick Gordon | NLL.com
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jordan Hall scored a pair of goals to go along with three assists, and Ryan Boyle chipped in with five points to lead the Orlando Titans (5-3) over the Philadelphia Wings (2-8), 11-9 at Amway Arena on Friday.
Drew Westervelt's goal mid-way through the fourth quarter brought the Wings to within one, but Boyle answered with his second goal of the contest to cement the win.
The win, coupled with Toronto's loss, gives Orlando sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division.
"We had three youngsters really step up for us and that was the key," said Titans Head Coach Ed Comeau. "We got off to a slow start again, but the guys settled down and once we took the lead we were able to hold it."
Rookies Jessie Guerin (1 G, 3 A) and Nick O'Hara (1 A); along with seldom used second-year defenseman Mike Ammann (3 LB) were all cited by Comeau for outstanding efforts. Top goal scorer Casey Powell was a game-time scratch with a sore knee.
The Wings hurled 53 shots on net and remained competitive throughout the contest, never trailing by more than three goals.
"It would have been easy for our guys to pack it in," said Wings Head Coach Dave Huntley. "We've won two games all year and we just gave up a four goal run. It would have been easy to get frustrated and blow the game up, but we gathered ourselves and it just seemed like we were always one goal behind."
Kyle Wailes's goal mid-way through the third frame brought Philadelphia to within a one, but Pat Maddalena notched his 12th goal of the season on the power play with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter to nudge Orlando to a 9-7 lead.
Maddalena finished with two goals and two assists in the winning effort.
Wailes, who entered the contest as the Wings' points leader, finished with a goal and two assists. Westervelt led the Wings' offense with three goals and a pair of assists.
Orlando entered the contest with the top ranked power play in the NLL and converted on two of five attempts.
Guerin, Hall, Jarett Park and Mat MacLeod each scored a goal within the first two minutes of the second quarter to lift the Titans to a 6-3 lead. Kevin Huntley answered with a goal later in the frame to trim the Wings deficit to two by halftime.
Wings goaltender Brandon Miller was taken out of the game early in the second quarter after yielding six goals on 22 shots.
"Miller has been real good for us all year," Huntley said. "He didn't get pulled tonight because he was playing bad, but when you give up a four goal run like that and only have one timeout per half, your choices to kill some time may be to pull the goalie and see if that changes the momentum. It worked for us tonight."
The two clubs exchanged goals throughout the first quarter until Bill McGlone notched a shorthanded goal with less than a minute remaining that pushed the Wings to a 3-2 advantage.
"I was proud of how our team played," Huntley said. "They played hard but we just didn't get the result we liked and that's been the story of our year so far."
The highly anticipated tussle between Geoff Snider and Rory Smith never came to fruition, but Smith beat Snider on the score sheet with an assist. Snider did, however, win 21 of 25 face-off opportunities.
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