The Baltimore Blast pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Milwaukee, 13-8 in MISL action in the 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday night to move to 2-0 on the young season.
The early-season matchup between the Blast and their old rival was a defensive struggle through much of the first half.
Milwaukee came in somewhat shorthanded compared to last year’s club, but two Brazilians would provide a scoring punch for the Wave. The Blast — unlike last week’s game vs the Philadelphia Kixx — needed their veteran experience to win going away.
The first goal of the match was converted by Machel Millwood of the Blast at the 1:22 mark of the second quarter. Millwood struck again at 10:58 of the second quarter with another unassisted two-point goal for a 4-0 Blast lead at halftime.
The Wave responded with third-period goals from Deco — assisted by Greg Howes — at 5:57 and Marcio Leite at 7:37 to tie the match at 4-4.
The Blast responded with a go-ahead goal in the fourth quarter on a restart as Robbie Aristodemo hit Denison Cabral, who finished neatly for the Blast at 4:35.
The Wave answered with a two-point goal from Brent Weisner, who finished a beautiful chance assisted by the ever-dangerous Howes. Howes struck again as he scored a two-point goal on a restart to give the Wave an 8-6 advantage. The problems the Blast had last year on restart situations showed again on the goal from Howes.
The ability to score immediately on the power play for the Blast proved vital. The Wave lead was short-lived as Cabral found David Bascome with a beautiful pass from the midfield area for a two-point goal that tied the game at 8-8.
Milwaukee’s Nick Vorberg made a critical error late in the fourth quarter and had a two-minute hand-ball call against him which gave the Blast a power play.
Giuliano Celenza, who had worked hard the entire game, gave the Blast a two-point goal and a 10-8 lead on the re-start from the penalty.
Baltimore’s Billy Nelson received a two-minute penalty for tripping which gave the Wave a power play late in the final quarter.
The Blast killed off the first minute of the penalty and Robbie Aristodemo sealed the victory with a shorthanded three-point goal. He chipped the ball over the Wave’s sixth attacker and found the net on two bounces for a 13-8 advantage.
The 2-0 Blast face the Orlando Sharks on the road next Saturday. In other MISL action from this weekend, the New Jersey Ironmen defeated Orlando, 7-4 in a battle between expansion franchises.