by Michael Wilson
The New York Saints gave the league a run for its money in in that three—way tie for the limelight with the Turbos and Wings In 1990 however was quite a different story, ending up in third and almost fourth with a .500 average. That 4—4 season was very frustrating for the “aints”, who had the leagues best defense with 96 goals against and the least penalty minutes . With these two assets going for the Saints, Bob Engelke turned his focus to the attack for the Saints had the cellar door on scoring percentages. The draft brought 4 All—Americans to New York, they now believe that they can get that ‘ ‘S” back. They want to show the league it not only starts the word “Saints” but “Score” too!
The Saints opened their season at the Centrum in New England with a paultry 6,874 on hand. New York quickly muted the crowd with two quick goals but that was it for excitement in the first. The second was ho—hum until New England’s 5 goal flurry which set the place a “blaze” in to the half, The second half was back and forth boring with the Saints trying to play catch—up with Jeff Nicklas trying to get them back into it. Despite Jeff’s game high of four goals and one assist, the Saints fell one shy (11—10).
The PWFC packed into the party bus and headed for Nassau to see the gladiators of two years past meet for the first time in 91! The 9 ,100 fans had no problem quieting our group or any other Philly fans that dared showed! NY mixed it up a little bit and balanced out the attack and, man, did it work! They tore us up in the first half of the tune of 13—2. The brother Cummings combined for 4 goals, Don Borges netted 3, Nicklas a pair as well as Cook (who only had 3 last year.) The Wings keeper looked like swiss Honorable mention went to cheese at the half. Gord Purdie for a goal and 4 assists. It was a game in the second half with the Wings trying to get back into it, A little penalty—ridden but that’s why they call it box—lacrosse. Thirteen was the Wings number in this one and NY’s too, having 13 penalties between them both. Final: Wings 13 — Saints 19.
New York knew they would have a task before them if they planned on winning in Philly. NY realized the Wings would be out for blood and revenge after that embarrassing first half bout in Nassau. The PWFC was in full force and so were 16,282 fans to see the Wings The Saints opened the scoring and it looked scary for a couple minutes for the Wings , The Wings bounced back and the first quarter closed 3—2, Wings. The second quarter got a little rough and tumble with a cross checking and roughing call and the Saints and Wings tied and went to half at 6—5.
Dave Evans must have lit them up during halftime because the Wings weren’t the flat team that left the filed when they returned. The second half started the party and the Spectrum was” the place to be “. The Wings scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter and the fourth quarter
half elapsed before anything happened for NY which was a Greg Manley penalty which resulted in a power play goal for Matt Crowley. The Saints tried to get something, anything, going but it was too little too late and the Wings hammered the final nail in the coffin with 48 seconds left and the MVP was given to John Conley, Final — Wings 13 -Saints 8
New York needs to play the whole game as aggressively on the attack as they do the defense. If they are to recapture their “S. ” I feel they need to have a balanced consistent attack. They can’t rely on their defense to do it, we all saw what happened last year?