Wave remain undefeated with 15-4 victory over Wings

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Wave took care of business against the Wichita Wings, winning 15-4 behind two goals from Marcio Leite to remain undefeated at 7-0.

The victory was Milwaukee’s 12th straight at home and 100th franchise victory in the month of December. Five Wave players recorded three points with captain Greg Howes reaching the 750 point milestone for his career while Ian Bennett scored his 50th career goal. For the Wings, Jamar Beasley recorded two assists to pad his league-leading total while keeper Sanaldo Carvalho made 23 saves to keep the game close.

Wichita opened the scoring in the first quarter, when Beasley fed Larry Inlow on the left side. Inlow slotted home a low, hard shot past Feenstra to put the Wings up 2-0. Milwaukee tied it up three minutes later when Tom Oatley found Giuliano Oliviero just outside the box. Oliviero cut to his right foot and fired a shot off the left post and into the net. Bennett put the Wave up for the first time in the game after a series of blue cards. Wichita keeper Carvalho intentionally handled the ball outside the area after a turnover, drawing a blue card and a penalty shootout. Leite would go on to get tripped during the shootout, drawing yet another blue card and a penalty kick. Leite missed the kick wide left but on the ensuing 5-3 advantage, Bennett took in a Matt Stewart pass and beat the keeper to go up 4-2 with 3:34 left in the quarter. The goal was Bennett’s 50th of his career.

The second quarter belonged to the Wave but it was Wings keeper Carvalho that stole the show. Milwaukee controlled a majority of the possession and had all of the shots on net in the period but Carvalho made save after one-handed save to keep his team in the game. The Wave persevered though and finally hit pay dirt with 1:16 left. J.P Rodrigues found a loose ball at midfield and made a run at the goal. After beating two defenders, Rodrigues laid the ball off to Howes who one-touched it to a wide open Leite, putting the ball in the open net and making it 6-2 going into the half.

The Wings came out as the aggressors in the third quarter controlling possession and peppering Marcel Feenstra’s net. However, it was the Wave that would open the second half scoring. McNeley pressured the Wings’ keeper into turning the ball over to Nick Perera who rolled the ball into the net for an open net 3-pointer to make it 9-2. Another mistake by the Wings due to Wave pressure left Howes wide open in front of the net with the ball at his feet to make it 11-2. The goal marked Howes’ second and third points of the game and put the veteran forward at 751 for his career. Two miraculous saves by Carvalho with less than a minute left kept the Wings within nine going into the final stanza.

The Wave didn’t take long to get on the board as Leite beautifully directed a shot into the side netting 36 seconds into the fourth quarter. The goal was Leite’s second of the night and stretched Milwaukee’s lead to 11. Milwaukee spent a majority of the quarter playing keepaway from the Wings until the 5:46 mark when Oatley committed his fourth foul of the half to give Wichita a man advantage. On the ensuing powerplay, Bryan Perez received a pass from Beasley and rifled it past Feenstra to make it 13-4. Milwaukee countered with a goal of its own just minutes after, with Oatley scoring from just inside the arc to push the lead back to 11.

The Wave plays next on Tuesday, December 27th in Rochester 6 p.m. They play at home again on December 31st against rivals Baltimore Blast at 2 p.m. for their annual New Year’s Eve game.