WINGS DIFFUSE THE BOMBERS; READY FOR GAME TWO TONIGHT
The Amarillo Bombers came to Wichita ready for a battle and instead were quickly shot down. The first-place Wings blasted through the Bomber defense to win the first of a two-day home stand, 11-5. The two teams return to the battlefield tonight with the Bombers looking for revenge.
But, Coach Roger Downing thinks they will come up short once again.
"We're looking at another beat down Saturday," said Downing. "We played a lot of guys a lot of minutes tonight to be ready for the back-to-back."
The Friday night match was not only filled with goals, it was littered with fouls and penalties. The two teams combined for 21 total minutes in the penalty box, with lots of elbows thrown and questionable tackles as the game intensified. The Wings converted on three of their power plays.
"Saturday will be another fast and physical game. Amarillo likes to play really direct which makes the game stretched out and fun for spectators," said Downing.
The Friday night spectators definitely got their money's worth. It was evident early on that the Wichita Wings were going to end the night with a victory. Forward Jared Robbins found the back of the net at the 8:43 mark of the first quarter and the Wings never looked back - scoring five times in the second quarter alone.
"We had the game under control pretty much all night," enthused Downing.
For the Orange it was a high-scoring night led by midfielder David Lucio, who had three goals and one assist. Franck Tayou put up three points - one assist and two goals - and Benji also contributed to three points with one goal and two assists. Colin Lawter, Uzi Tayou, and Ethan Doud all contributed goals while Peter Espinosa and Daniel Sack chipped in with assists. Bomber keeper, Jose Chavez, was unable to stop several rockets from the Wings and was helpless to stop shots lofting in from midfield as he ventured out of the goal to help on their struggling offense.
But, high scoring aside, it was also a game of defense for the Wings. The Amarillo Bombers weren't able to put many balls in the back of the net despite outshooting the Wings, 32-38.
"Daniel Sack and Kevin Ten Eyck anchor our defense and have for a long time. I trust both of them to always have everyone organized, communicate, and block shots. They are our back bone and we wouldn’t be near the team without them," said Downing.
Steven Hamersky also put a solid performance in goal, comiing up with 21 saves as the Bombers threw everything they had at him trying to get back into the game.
Wings' fans got a fantastic introduction to new player, James Togbah, who came off a wrist injury to score the team's second goal and also finished the game with an assist. But it was his hustle at midfield that had the fans talking.
"Togbah is a game changer. He’s a highlight reel waiting to happen. He’s a great addition to the squad," said Downing.
The men in Orange hit the pitch against the fifth-place Amarillo team again at 7:05 p.m., Saturday, June 12 at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan. Downing said he would love to see more fans in the stands to cheer on his hard-working team. And, although he understands there are still folks who feel uncomfortable in larger, indoor crowds, he feels that vaccinated fans should feel safe while cheering on their hometown team.
He also gives a lot of credit to the team at Hartman Arena for creating a safe place for the team and it's fans.
"Hartman does a great job preparing for any event they host, that includes cleaning and sanitizing. We see them during our practices going seat by seat to be sure it’s as sanitary as possible. It’s also a big enough arena where you don’t have to sit next to people unless you want to," said Downing.
Still need tickets? Visit Ticketmaster.com or the Hartman Arena box office today to get yours. Doors open to the public at 6 p.m. and to Orange Army Fan Club Members at 5 p.m.
MASK/CLEAR BAG POLICY AND ARENA ENTRY
Please note that Hartman Arena does not require masks however, a Clear Bag Policy has been implemented and bags larger than 14" x 6" x 14" will not be allowed.