Philadelphia — This is a city rich with history.
Lucky for the City of Brotherly Love history was on its side yet again Saturday night as the Wings stopped the Rock in a thrilling 12-11 matchup at the Wells Fargo Center.
The games lived up to what has become an exciting rivalry, with both teams playing well-rounded lacrosse in front of an energetic crowd.
The Rock came out of the gates dragging its feet through most of the opening 15 minutes of play, showing signs of wear from Friday’s OT thriller at home Friday night.
Despite matching Philly in goals in the frame, Toronto was lethargic at times and lacked the intensity the team usually displays.
The Rock’s lack of energy culminated in a goal for the Wings on a brutal line change that left defenceman Brett Manney all alone in the slot.
The embarrassing goal was a turning point, as Toronto used it as a spark to finally ignite the passion the team has played with all season long.
It wasn’t until the early minutes of the second frame that Toronto dug in, with captain Colin Doyle scoring twice in less than two minutes to give his side some breathing room.
Doyle led the charge for the Rock in the quarter, earning a hat trick in the second frame alone. The Toronto offence sparked the defence in the frame, as it went on to score six goals in the second while allowing only two.
After a fast-paced opening half, both squads really slowed the pace of the game, focusing on possession and passing in the closing 30 minutes.
Each side allowed only one tally in the third on the back of air-tight defence and a few lucky bounces.
Philly turned it on late in the game, dominating the fourth quarter behind strong play from forwards Drew Westervelt and Brandon Mundorf.
The Wings blanked Toronto through the first 13:35 of the fourth quarter while scoring six straight goals to retake the lead in the waning minutes of the game.
Toronto brought veteran keeper Bob Watson in late in the game, but it was too-little, too late for the Rock as it watched the Wings walk away with the win.
The Rock (10-4) will be in action again next Friday night at the ACC where it will host the Buffalo Bandits in the last regular season home game of 2011. Watson, who will be playing in his last regular season game in front of the home crowd, will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony.