Friday, March 25, 2011

Game preview: Rochester vs Philadelphia

By Alex Hinkley

The Philadelphia Wings (4-7) will visit the Blue Cross Arena tomorrow night to take on the Rochester Knighthawks (5-5) for the second time this season. The two teams previously met in February and the Knighthawks came out on top.

It's been two weeks since either of these teams have played so the downtime could be a factor. Tomorrow night's matchup is especially important because Rochester and Philly are essentially competing for the fourth playoff spot. If the season ended right now, the Wings would be the only team from the East not to make the playoffs. With just five regular season games left for them to play, they will be looking to collect as many wins as possible. This sense of desperation makes them much more dangerous now than when the Hawks played them last month.

Athan Iannucci still leads the Wings with 56 points. The Knighthawks defense will need to find a way to shut him down if they want to come out with another win. This is easier said than done, however, considering Iannucci is tied for second in the NLL with 27 goals.

Shawn Evans stands poised to have another big game tomorrow. He had 10 points (1G, 9A) last time Rochester played Philadelphia and currently leads all Knighthawks with 41 points.

Tomorrow night will also mark Cory Vitarelli's NLL debut. Originally drafted by Rochester back in 2006, Vitarelli hasn't played a game for the Knighthawks yet. Vitarelli was activated by the team just recently and could be a difference maker as he is no stranger to finding the back of the net. Playing for the Peterborough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse, he had 12 goals in the Mann Cup finals last season (tied for second on the team).

Tomorrow night's game starts at the usual time of 7:35 EDT. The first 5,000 fans will receive a Knighthawks tote bag and a rally towel.

(Originally posted on

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