Wings open NLL season against Buffalo
Philadelphia Wings lacrosse enters its 27th year this Friday, January 11 at 7 p.m. The Wells Fargo Center will be the venue for their season opener against the Buffalo Bandits as the Wings look for their dramatically new roster to compete for a seventh NLL Championship and a repeat playoff appearance.
2013 home game tickets (available at 215-389-WING) are on sale for as little as $10, and feature group packages for the whole family.
There will plenty of new faces in Wings uniforms this season, as the league’s biggest star, Paul Rabil, was acquired in a trade with the Rochester Knighthawks that also brought Canadian National team star Jordan Hall and transitional players, Joel White and Robbie Campbell to Philadelphia.
“There have been a lot of changes to this team with 13 new players and seven rookies but we are ready to compete,” said Wings head coach Johnny Mouradian in a press release. “We made a conscious effort to build a roster centered around young, talented U.S. players and our goal is to get back to winning championships.”
Rabil is anxious to get off to a good start and keep the Wings’ post season momentum flowing. “I'm looking forward to playing,” he said in a live chat on philly.com. “It's a long, 16-game season. Not everyone figures it out at game one. As long as you're playing your best ball come playoff time is all that matters.”
After a flurry of trades across the league, the Wings brought in reinforcements for their squad in the form of Kyle Hartzell from the Washington Stealth, Kevin Ross from the Minnesota Swarm, and Kevin Buchanan from the Bandits.
There are plenty of familiar faces returning as well, including All-Stars Max Seibald and Brodie Merrill, as well as top draft pick Kevin Crowley, who made headlines as the 2012 NLL Rookie of the Year Runner Up. Drew Westervelt scored a team-leading 36 goals in 2012 will return and take up his key role with the offense.
As far as opening night contests go, the Bandits could be a challenge. The eastern rivalry will be in its first of three chapters, as the Wings play in Buffalo twice more before the end of the season. Mouradian is convinced there won’t be a blow-out in store, but rather a tempered match with intense scoring.
“We are looking forward to the matchup with Buffalo. I think we match-up well against them,” Mouradian said. “They have a lot of young new talent and so do we.”