The Wings made their return to Philadelphia on Saturday, but the National Lacrosse League team fell to old rival Buffalo, 17-15, in their season opener at the Wells Fargo Center.
The red and gold florescent "W" statue the players ran past during introductions highlighted the successes of the Wings franchise, which has won five championships over 10 years and relocated to New England in 2014. Banners honoring former players Tom Marechek, Dallas Eliuk, and Jake Bergey were raised to the rafters to cement the bond between the old and new versions of the team.
The new Wings fell into a quick hole, however, as the Bandits scored three goals on seven shots in the first 6 minutes of play. The Wings struggled to get near the Buffalo net.
The Wings finally got it going and trailed the Bandits by only one goal, 5-4, at the end of the first period.
The exchange of goals continued until the Wings fell behind by four scores in the third period. They recovered to get to within one goal, 13-12, at the start of the fourth quarter, and then tied it before the Bandits sealed the victory.
Jordan Hall and Chris Cloutier led the Wings with six points each, while Josh Currier, Matt Rambo, and Brett Hickey -- who scored the tying goal in the fourth period -- had three points apiece.
The Wings next will play in Rochester against the Knighthawks on Dec. 29.