BOSTON, MA – The TD Garden has hosted some crushing defeats, but Friday’s loss against the Philadelphia Wings (2-2) was sincerely heartbreaking. Philadelphia tallied five goals in the third quarter and one in the fourth to hand the Boston Blazers (2-3) their third loss in a row, 11-5.
“We came out with a lot of energy and played with our most consistent sixty minutes of the year. I like our team and they work hard, so I was happy to see the results of all their hard work,” said Philadelphia Head Coach John Tucker
“That effort wasn’t good enough tonight,” said Boston Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer.
During the first quarter the Blazers recorded three goals off of sixteen shots on Wings goaltender, Brandon Miller (43-saves), but forward Casey Powell responded to an early Wings goal, which tied the game, 1-1. Yet, the Wings responded immediately with their second goal of the evening, when Dan Hardy found an opening past Blazers goaltender, Anthony Cosmo (22-saves).
“We knew that [the Blazers] could stay close and put a run together,” said Tucker. “We were committed to playing the first five minutes as hard as we possibly could [and] try to stretch the lead, fortunately we did. We came out of the gates and extended our lead and playing with the lead, I thought our guys responded pretty well.”
The Blazers would not score again until the third period, but watched the Wings build an impressive 5-3 lead before halftime.
Both Alex Turner and Athan Iannucci scored during the second quarter to build the lead, which would expand after halftime. The Wings watched Turner and Iannucci, as well as Ryan McClelland combine for five goals in fifteen minutes.
“Philadelphia’s a real good team, they’re well coached and they’re going to put that kind of effort defensively and from the goaltending, [they’re] going to be tough for everyone and we approached that game like we were just [going] to walk through them,” said Sawyer. “[We] can’t show up and just expect to win.”
Besides Dan Dawson’s two goals during the third period, the Blazers were held scoreless during the final fifteen minutes and were unable to tie the game or even pull out a dramatic win.
In fact, the Blazers allowed back-up goaltender Nick Rose an opportunity to play during the final 14-minutes of regulation, but despite his 10-saves, he did allow one goal.
“The boys played well in front of me, they were solid once I went in, just unfortunately we couldn’t put a couple more in the net, but it happens,” said Rose
Besides the poor play by the Blazers, the Wings were able to watch Miller play quite an impressive game, which clearly was something that impressed the 7,492 fans.
“[Brandon Miller] was off the charts. Boston is actually extremely talented, they had a lot of chances and he saved everything that he should of saved tonight and a lot of them had no chance, he made some incredible saves, but to Brandon’s credit, he’s been consistently good all year long,” said Tucker
With the loss, the Blazers will look to rebound on Saturday against the Rochester Knighthawks (2-1), a team that Boston has already lost to once this season.
“We need to forget [this loss] quick because [we have] Rochester [on Saturday] and there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves and there’s only one group that’s going to help us get out of this and that’s the group in that dressing room,” said Sawyer.