The Baltimore Blast, 5-1, play host to the Milwaukee Wave, 5-1, tonight at 1st Mariner Arena. This is the first meeting this year between the 2 first place teams and control of the division is at stake. The arena looks pretty full and as usual, the “Parade of Champions” was very enthusiastic. The Blast hasn’t been home since December 18 and won’t be home again until January 21.
Right after kickoff, at 1:13 in the first quarter Blast forward Giuliano Celenza
had a nice goal to give the quick 2-0 lead. It was short lived. Wave forward #23 Marco Terminesi responded at 2:38 with a nice 3 point goal to give the Wave an early 3-2 lead. Blast forward Giuliano Celenza got the lead back for the blast 4-3 at 5:41 in the first quarter. What was a fast and exciting start to this game quickly turned to a rough defensive slugfest. Very good midfield defense by both teams was the dominant story for the rest of the first quarter and the score remained 4-3 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter started real fast, again. Wave forward #24 Matt Stewart took a nice header right into the upper corner, and the Wave take a 5-4 lead. Blast had a goal taken away on what looked like a pretty bad hand ball call. Wave commits a holding penalty at 7:51 and the Blast go on a 2 minute power play. Several excellent scoring chances were had, but they all missed as the Blast were unable to capitalize on the man advantage. As if right on que, as soon as the penalty play is over, action heats up. Blast forward #20 Robbie Aristodemo scores on a breakaway at 11:26 in the second quarter to give the Blast a 6-5 lead.
At 3:47 in the third, Wave defender #7 J.P. Rodrigues cleans up a live ball in front of the Blast goal and scores. Wave re-take the lead at 7-6. Minutes later, the Blast re-take the lead when Blast forward #9 Pat Healey had a fantastic looking shot go in the net. This has turned into a very exciting game. Then, at 5:57 in the third quarter, there was a lot of action in front of the Blast goal and Blast goalee Sagu went out injured. 2 seconds later, on the restart, the Wave score to go ahead 9-8. Blast back up goalee was a scratch for tonight’s game, so Blast defender Mike Lookingland has had to fill in at goal for several minutes as he returns at 8:14 in the third quarter. The action remains physical and Blast player Billy Nelson is called for holding. Wave on a 2 minute power play. It’s a good thing Sagu has returned. Well, not that good. Wave score and take a 11-8 lead. Several minutes of good play pass until Blast forward #4 Giuliano Celenza records his hat trick and close the gap to a Wave 11-10 lead. Third quarter ends with the Wave ahead 11-10.
Blast make a real bad defensive play and the Wave score early in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 13-10. They quickly recover as Blast forward Max Ferdinand scores to bring the score to 13-12. It’s been a very close game all game long. Then the Blast make a mental mistake and commit a too many men on the field penalty. The Wave score seconds into their power play advantage and go back ahead by 3, at 15-12. With 2:57 to play, the Blast pull their goalee to gain an extra man advantage. That plan doesn’t work as the Blast lose tonight’s game 15-12. They look to avenge this lose tomorrow night in Milwaukee.