by Lisa Sillaway

They have recuperated, are rested and are ready to take the pitch. The Wichita Wings are taking on the Colorado Inferno at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1 at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan. after a two-week break from action.

Coach Roger Downing says the game should be a good one.

"It should be an extremely exciting game," Downing said. "Both teams like to get up and down the field and are physical, so it should be a fun match for spectators."

And a new challenge for the Wings, too.

"The Inferno really like to get forward and score a lot of goals," Downing said. "They rely more on their 1-on-1 abilities than combination play to score which will be a new challenge for us."

And Downing said the men in orange need a little help from their Orange Army this weekend - and he hopes the fans are up to the challenge.

"Our players feed off the energy of the crowd.  It raises the intensity of the game and fuels our guys to push when they have nothing left. The guys are excited when the fans are excited, that’s why they play," said Downing.

Downing said the fans helped make the games against their strongest competition yet, The Chihuahua Savage, so competitive.

"We have only been together for a few months and to compete with such a quality team like the Savage all game just shows a glimpse of what our final product will be," Downing said.

More tough opponents and strong performances should only help the new team grow and the Inferno are a great example of the challenges that face the Wings throughout the rest of the season. The Inferno, like the Wings, recently faced down the Savage and also found themselves adding a loss to their record.

The Chihuahua Savage narrowly beat the Wichita Wings on Saturday, Jan. 18 in a shoot out, 5-5 with 2-3 in the shoot out - leaving the final tally 5-6.  They then followed up with a more decisive victory over the Wings on Sunday, 4-8.  Leaving Kansas, the Savage traveled to Colorado and beat the Inferno at home, 5-12.

Going into the match on Jan. 18 the Wings and the Savage were the two final unbeaten teams in the MASL2 with the Savage slightly ahead on goal differential. The Wings now sit in second place after the two losses.

The Inferno is at fourth in the standings with a 10.3 goals-for average and a goal differential of +8 while the Wings have a goals-for average of 8.6 with a goal differential of +26.

"We saw how good the best team was," said Kevin Ten Eyck."I'm glad the games against the Savage came about halfway through the season. It gave us a good measuring stick to see where we stand. We have to take what we learned from them and apply them to our next opponents so we knock out those mistakes and get better as a team."

The Wings spent the two-week break getting healthy and prepping for the Inferno.

"They are explosive on the offensive end of the field," said Downing. " It will be important that we get numbers behind the ball and communicate on the defensive end.  This should be another intense, action-packed game."

Pulling out his crystal ball, Downing predicts that fans will see remarkable things from Brit Kieran Laking. (Read his bio, here.)

"Laking is going to have a great match this weekend," said Downing.  "He’s finally over his illness and he’s going to open his sheet in the scoring column on Saturday."

Sitting out a game will be Bryan Perez, who is out with an injured back, and Leonardo Catarina, who is recovering from a groin strain. 

"We have a couple other small injuries, but nothing that is keeping the men from playing," said Downing.

The Wings and the Inferno clash at at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at Hartman Arena in Park City. Tickets are still available for purchase both at Hartman Arena and on Ticketmaster.

Wings Roster 

#1 Aaron Parrott
#2 Kieran Laking
#3 Alex Moseley
#4 Matt Sherrod
#10 Nico

#12 Wilmer Canales
#14 Brent Hobson
#16 Kevin Ten Eyck
#17 David Lucio
#18 Daniel Sack
#23 Leo Sosa
#25 Jared Robbins
#29 Ed Jabbari

#50 Joseph Furry
#58 Steven Hamersky
#82 Collin Lawter
Coach: Roger Downing

Inferno Roster 

#00 Mike Tester
#1 Justin Dzuba
#2 Brice Colcombe
#5 Armando Gonzalez
#6 Ismael Morales
#8 Daniel Jimenez
#9 Felix Elias
#12 Josue Jimenez
#16 Hunter Holiday
#17 Jorge Velasquez
#19 Franky Perez
#21 Beto Hernandez
#25 Jimmy Wade
#26 Devin Guidechessi
#29 Justin Glivar
#77 Raul Elias
Coach: John Wells