Philadelphia, P.A. (NEWS10) — The Albany FireWolves (2-2) defeated the Philadelphia Wings (3-2), 9-8, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. on Saturday afternoon. For the second straight game, Albany jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but the Wings clawed their way back into the game and nearly tied it late in the contest. The FireWolves victory marks two in a row for Albany while handing the Wings their first loss at home on the season.
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After a ten-second-long battle at the faceoff circle that would be indicative of the game ahead, the FireWolves came out with possession to start the afternoon. Albany was able to get a few quality looks on the team’s first possessions but came away empty in the game’s opening minutes. The first goal of the contest did not come until just under six minutes remaining in the opening quarter as Joe Resetarits gave the FireWolves an early 1-0 lead. After a Wings shot hit the post twice, Albany was able to run out in transition and strike again, this time from Colton Watkinson, his first of the season. Following a Wings penalty, the FireWolves would take their first power play opportunity on the night as the man up advantage spilled into the second quarter.
Philadelphia was able to kill off their first penalty and return to full strength within the first minute of the new quarter. Minutes later, the Wings were penalized again, giving the FireWolves another power play chance early in the second. Albany capitalized mere seconds later as Resetarits netted his second of the afternoon to extend the lead to three goals. A couple of Wings possessions later, Matt Rambo was able to sneak one past Doug Jamieson to give Philadelphia their first goal of the day. Albany wasted no time getting the goal back as Mike Byrne found Andrew Kew in transition to bring the lead to 4-1. Following a save on a Kevin Crowley shot, the ball bounced off of Greg Downing’s leg and trickled into the net to give the Wings another goal. On the ensuing Albany possession, Resetarits found Ryan Benesch who rocketed one into the back of the net to quickly get the goal right back for the FireWolves. Coming out of a television timeout, the Wings were able to make a defensive stand that led to a breakaway for an Ian Llord goal. The FireWolves were then penalized for the first time in the contest, giving the Wings a power play try. Albany was able to fend off the Wings advantage and draw a penalty of their own, giving the FireWolves their third power play in the first half. With 50 seconds remaining in the Wings penalty, the second quarter came to a close with a 5-3 FireWolves lead.
Albany took the second half’s opening possession after yet another battle at the faceoff dot between Joe Nardella and Trevor Baptiste. Still on the man advantage, Kew was able to find the back of the net for the second time of the contest, growing the FireWolves lead to 6-3 early in the third. Immediately after the goal, Downing was penalized for Albany, giving the Wings another power play opportunity, but were unable to score as the FireWolves killed it off. Following a long scoring drought by both clubs, Corey Small scored for the Wings to bring the team back within two goals late in the quarter. Neither team would score again as the FireWolves clung to a 6-4 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Jacob Ruest was finally able to get one past the Wings goaltender to push the FireWolves lead to three goals. Just seconds later, Crowley netted his second of the contest for Philadelphia. The Wings were able to claw back within one goal as Small scored his second of the afternoon on a laser shot that ripped through the back of the net. Small wasted no time completing the hat trick, tying the game at seven goals apiece with just over nine minutes remaining in the contest. Albany was able to regain the lead as Ruest froze the Philadelphia defender to score his second of the game. Not long after, Albany netted another goal, this time from Resetarits to complete his hat trick. Kew was nearly able to complete a hat trick of his own but was called in the crease as the Wings took over following the review with just under two minutes to go. Blaze Riorden was able to get another on the board for Philadelphia, bringing the FireWolves lead down to just one with a minute remaining. After a Wings defensive stand, they called a timeout down by a goal with 40 seconds left in the contest. Philadelphia was unable to score on a frantic final possession as Albany came away with the road victory, 9-8.
The FireWolves will be back in action on Saturday, January 29 at home in the MVP Arena versus the Halifax Thunderbirds at 8 p.m.