Black Wolves fall to Wings 14-11

Mohegan — The second half featured four ties and enough of the New England Black Wolves' Joe Resetarits diving around headfirst making plays, one in particular to create a 6-6 deadlock after trailing 6-1, to create a buzz Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Better than the last time out, in which the Black Wolves' offense fell silent for much of the game.

"It's a massive concern," New England coach Glenn Clark said. "We were clicking there the first four games. The last three games, we've struggled."

The late rally wasn't enough for the Black Wolves, though, who dropped their third straight game, falling to the National Lacrosse League East rival Philadelphia Wings 14-11 before 5,387 fans at Mohegan.

Resetarits had four goals for New England (4-3) and Callum Crawford three goals and three assists.

Resetarits made perhaps the play of the game with 8 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter, when he wrapped himself around the right post from behind to score the equalizer, assisted by Stephan Leblanc and Reilly O'Connor.

It was Resetarits who provided a great deal of the offensive fire for the Black Wolves, giving them their first lead of the game to start the fourth quarter at 8-7. Resetarits pumped his fist as "Brass Bonanza," the old fight song of hockey's Hartford Whalers, began playing over the public address system.

Resetarits later scored to tie the game at 9-9 with 7:22 to play, tumbling into the net after the ball.

But first-place Philadelphia (7-3) won its second game in as many days, getting off to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, then making the key plays and getting the crucial calls to go its way down the stretch.

"We've been struggling up front, especially early on," Resetarits said. "(Philadelphia is) a good team, right? We gave them too much daylight early on. It's a full game."

"I liked it better than the last game," Clark said. "At least there was a response (to the slow start). These are always tough games. ... (The all-out effort) is not something we can wait on. We got it from a 6-1 deficit to 8-7; we just couldn't keep it."

Eleven seconds after Resetarits tied it at 9, the Wings won the faceoff and took the lead on a goal by Brett Hickey. Thirteen seconds after that, Matt Rambo scored one of his six goals for Philadelphia for a two-goal margin.

With still plenty of time, New England's Greg Downing scored to pull it back to 11-10, faking a shot and waiting for the defender to run by him before shooting on Wings goalie Zach Higgins.

But with 4:24 remaining, the game turned when New England was called for an illegal substitution, giving the Wings a two-minute power play.

The Wolves protested vehemently, with Clark later saying the player in question was standing next to him in the bench area when the player he was replacing came off the floor.

"That was a bad call," Clark said. "It hurt. They just said he left the bench early. It didn't even look close. That's a crucial moment."

It took the Wings just 23 seconds to take advantage, with Rambo scoring for a 12-10 lead. Clark asked for a review of that play, which was ruled inconclusive in a rally-killing 30 seconds for New England.

Philadelphia then added a pair of empty-net goals as the Wolves scrambled to try to make up the two-goal deficit, turning it into a four-goal deficit before New England's Crawford scored to account for the final margin.

"We went back to our ways. We just played lacrosse," Resetarits said of the second half. "Early on we were really flat. That second half was the tale of two teams. The second half was a new team. We've just got to do the little things.

"We're fine. We're 4-3. We're in a rut right now. We just have to dig ourselves out."

v.fulkerson@theday.com

 

 

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