The atmosphere at Amway Arena built up louder and louder as the night wore on and the goals piled up. And when the first gloves dropped in the fourth quarter, the building exploded.
The Orlando Titans, Orlando's brand new National Lacrosse League team, beat up and defeated the Philadelphia Wings, 13-8, before a boisterous announced crowd of 8,148. Having witnessed the game live in person, I can say that it was very close to that number. I'd say over 80 percent full in the lower bowl.
Casey Powell led the Titans with six points (four goals, two assists). Jordan Hall had six assists. Goaltender Matt Vinc notched 24 saves for a 75 percent save average. Drew Westervelt led the Wings with three goals.
The Wings put their goal up first at the 4:49 mark of the first quarter with a power-play goal by Dan Teat. The Titans answered at the 8:03 mark, with Bill Greer scoring the first home goal in the Titans' new home arena. The teams finished the first quarter close with a 3-2 Titans edge.
At that point, the Titans opened it up with seven unanswered goals.
Casey Powell scored his first goal at the 4:50 mark in the second. Their five-goal second quarter was punctuated at the 9:25 mark by a diving short-handed goal by forward Ryan Boyle. (pic above) The Titans went into halftime with an 8-3 advantage.
The third quarter was much of the same, with Powell scoring two of his four goals. At the 4:00 mark of the third quarter, things started to get a bit snippy, with Titans transitioner John Orsen getting ejected for a high sticking. As the beating continued, the Amway Arena crowd got louder and louder, and started chanting for the Titans.
Things blew up at the 6:05 mark of the fourth quarter when Wings defenseman Bob Snider instigated a fight with Titans defenseman Chet Koneczky. Titans defenseman Rory Smith then picked a fight with Wings defenseman Thomas Hajek, and triumphed, earning a double game misconduct ejection. Hajek was ejected, as well.
At 11:56, Snider again got in trouble with an illegal check on Titans forward Mat MacLeod, then fought him as well. This time, Snider was bested, and got ejected for his second fighting penalty.
The Wings scored four in the fourth quarter, but it just wasn't enough. The Titans won the day, and had succeeded in capturing the hearts of their Orlando fans.