Wings pull away from Thunder, 15-10

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Thunder hasn't had much success against the Philadelphia Wings during their nine-year rivalry in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.

Last night's meeting between the two teams didn't change that fact.

The defending league champion Wings scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter en route to a 15-10 victory before 7,260 at the Baltimore Arena.

Philadelphia (6-1), which leads the series 16-3, got three goals and three assists from Gary Gait and another hat trick from Chris Flynn. The victory was the Wings' sixth straight since losing their opener and eighth straight over the Thunder (3-3).

The Thunder needs to win one of its last two games, against Buffalo and Philadelphia, to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 1992.

Shek led the Thunder with two goals and two assists, and Tim Hormes and Bob Martino each had two goals.

"I just think they were out-hustling us," said Shek. "They were beating us to the ground balls and they were getting up and down the floor a little bit better than we were. We're the quickest team in the league, and I think we're definitely capable of beating them, but we just didn't play real well tonight."

The Thunder got a goal from Lindsay Dixon early in the third quarter, but the next 14 minutes were all Philadelphia as the Wings scored five unanswered goals to take an 11-6 lead into the final quarter.

Jim Rogers initiated the Wings' five-goal run and Kevin Finneran scored back-to-back goals to give Philadelphia a 9-6 lead with 12:30 left in the third. The Wings scored their next two goals in the final 21 seconds of the period.

"I thought it was a hotly contested game. Both teams played with a lot of desire, which I expected," said Thunder coach Skip Lichtfuss, whose franchise has not beaten the Wings at Baltimore Arena since 1987, the MILL's inaugural season. "We need to regroup and put this one behind us now, because we have two games left and all we have to win is one of them."

Philadelphia took a 4-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, but it could have been worse, had Baltimore goalie J. J. Pearl not made 11 saves.

The Wings went up 5-2 just 36 seconds into the second quarter when Tom Marechek converted a pass from Gait.

Thunder attackman Rob Shek, who played for Philadelphia the last three seasons, spent six minutes in the penalty box in the first half, but was on the floor long enough to pick up a goal and an assist and help Baltimore stay within 6-5 at halftime.

2(Philadelphia ..4 ..2 ..5 ..4 ..-- ..15

Baltimore .. ..2 ..3 ..1 ..4 ..-- ..10

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