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Wings Rally Past Silver Knights
Clare, Geison lead Wichita to 12-10 overtime victory

Saturday, December 8, 2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Wichita Wings took a dramatic overtime victory as they defeated the Syracuse Silver Knights 12-10 on Saturday night at The Oncenter. In a back and forth match that saw five lead changes the Silver Knights got off to a slow start, falling behind 5-0 in the first quarter. Syracuse would then rally to lead 10-7 in the third quarter, only to see former Silver Knight Matt Clare tie the game with a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter before Geison scored the overtime game-winner, giving the Wings their second win of the season.

The Silver Knights took an 8-7 lead into the fourth quarter, and looked to be in the driver’s seat when Kenardo Forbes finished an Andriy Budniyy pass to make it 10-7. The Silver Knights' Bozidar Jelovac then received a two-minute penalty that the Knights were able to kill thanks to tough defending and several big stops from O’Quinn.

But the tide of the match turned once more when Clare curled in his second 3-point goal of the match to tie the game at 10 with 1:25 remaining. That sent the game to overtime, where after several chances at both ends, Geison squeezed a deflected shot past O'Quinn to give the Wings the win 7:48 into the extra session.

Wichita had opened the scoring in the first quarter when Andrew Hoxie converted a breakaway chance 1:38 into the opening session following a Knights turnover in midfield. Syracuse goalkeeper Bryan O’Quinn closed down the angle and was able to get a touch but couldn't prevent the ball crossing the line for the goal.

The Wings added to their early lead from a restart following a foul in the corner. From the restart, Matt Clare, returning to Syracuse after being traded to Wichita a little over a week ago, found himself open at the top of the arc. He seized the opportunity as his shot found the roof of the net beating 0’Quinn for the 3-point goal and a 5-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Syracuse came out looking more composed in the second quarter, stringing passes together and keeping more possession of the ball. Despite the possession, they struggled to find the final pass to create a goal until a moment of individual skill from Nelson Santana opened the door. Santana tricked his way past Clare with a quick feint and sole drag to create the space to shoot, then made no mistake tucking the ball into the corner to make it 5-2.

Syracuse then got a lift before the halftime break when Bryan Perez scored against his former team to make it 5-4 with just 48 seconds remaining. Perez stripped the ball from a defender and fired low between Wings goalkeeper Sanaldo’s legs.

The second half would prove to be a back-and-forth affair. First Neto gave Syracuse its first lead of the night, slotting his shot low into the corner for his 11th goal of the season after a great turn to beat a pair of defenders. Wichita answered back as Geison cut inside to finish a ball into the lower corner just past the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper.

Almost immediately Syracuse answered back. Neto, with some more good back-to-goal play, held the ball up and laid it off to an onrushing Ryan Hall. Hall made no mistake and fired a one-timer into the lower corner to put the Silver Knights up 8-7 with 15 minutes to go. But as in their first meeting, the Wings would take the game to overtime, and find a game-winner to end a two-game losing streak. 

With the defeat Syracuse falls to 3-6 on the season while Wichita improves to 2-5. The Silver Knights next play on Friday night as they host the Missouri Comets at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena. 

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