The Baltimore Blast improved to 4-1 on the season and moved into sole possession of first place in the MISL with a 10-8 victory over the Rockford Rampage Sunday at MetroCentre. Rookie Max Ferdinand led the Blast with the first hat trick of his career.
With Dave Kern in goal for the Blast, Baltimore and Rockford played a scoreless first quarter despite power-play opportunities for both teams. The Blast got an early power play but were unable to convert on the man advantage and the Rampage ended the quarter on the power play after a two-minute tripping penalty to Robbie Aristodemo.
The Rampage started the second quarter with a power-play goal from Semir Mesanovic to take a 2-0 lead. Matthew Stewart, who assisted Mesanovic's goal, added a goal in the 10th minute of the quarter to extend Rockford's lead to 4-0. Ferdinand scored the first of his three goals, a three-point goal at the 11:50 mark of the first quarter, to cut the Rampage lead to 4-3 heading into halftime.
Bato Radoncic scored the first goal of the second half to give Rockford a 6-3 lead but Ferdinand took over from that point, scoring the next two goals for the hat trick. His scored his second three-point goal in the fifth minute to tie the game at 6-6 then scored his third goal in the ninth minute to give Baltimore its first lead of the game, 8-6. Erik Lukin scored the last goal of the quarter to tie the game at 8-8.
Lucio Gonzaga scored the game-winning goal at 11:31 of the fourth quarter to clinch the 10-8 victory.
The Blast will end 2009 with a New Year's Eve match in Milwaukee on the 31st - fans can watch the game in Milwaukee at www.B2TV.com. The team will return to 1st Mariner Arena for back-to-back games on January 8 and 9 against La RaZa and the Wave, respectively. Tickets to all Blast home games are available at www.TicketMaster.com.