THE WINGS look to clinch a chance to host a home playoff game Saturday when they visit the Rochester Knighthawks in their final regular-season game. The 7-8 Wings have already clinched a National Lacrosse League playoff spot, but one of the two spots for hosting a game in the East Division remains open.
The team also could win the division if it beats the Knighthawks and the Toronto Rock loses to the Edmonton Rush on Saturday.
"We're at playoff time, we'd love to host a playoff game in our building," Wings coach Johnny Mouradian said. "It's a goal we've had since the beginning of the season."
The Wings are trying to snap a four-game losing streak. They have not won since a 13-12 victory over the Colorado Mammoth on March 23. Over the course of the slide, the team was outscored, 61-41.
"We have some cleaning up to do," Mouradian said. "We have to work to get our goals-against down."
The Wings are taking on a 6-9 Knighthawks team that has beaten the Wings in their previous two meetings this season. Should the Knighthawks win, they could also seize the homefield advantage. It will be a matchup between two of the top five scorers in the NLL in Philly's Dan Dawson, who is third in the league with 100 points, 23 goals and 77 assists, the latter a league record. His 100 points is tied for the team single-season record.
The Knighthawks and Wings also enter the game with some bad blood between them. In the Wings' season opener at the Wells Fargo Center, a 22-12 loss to the Knighthawks, the teams closed out the game with a brawl that included a goalie fight.
Rochester's fighting spirit has also extended off the field. On Feb. 15, five Knighthawks were arrested in connection with a brawl in a Minnesota TGI Fridays. The players involved were suspended by the league for a week.