The Baltimore Blast battled to an 18-17 victory over the Chicago Riot Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena in front of 6,916 fans. The teams will play again Sunday night at 8 in Chicago.
With the memory of Chicago's come-from-behind 14-12 January 16th victory still fresh in their minds, the Blast players scored seven first-half goals and twice battled back from one-goal deficits to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Pat Healey led the way with a goal late in the first quarter and another late in the second quarter. Anthony Maher scored the first goal of the game, giving the Riot a 2-0 lead in the third minute but Lucio Gonzaga tied it at 2-2 two minutes later. The Riot jumped out to a 4-2 lead on a goal from Miodrag Djerisilo but this time it was Mike Lookingland who tied the game (4-4) and Healey's power play goal gave Baltimore its first lead of the game (6-4) at 14:17 of the first quarter.
Carlos Garcia and Worteh Sampson scored goals to open the second half and Pat Morris added a power play goal to make it 12-4 before Chicago's Roberto Gallo scored to cut the Blast lead to 12-6. Healey's second goal of the game gave the Blast the 14-6 halftime lead.
Semir Mesanovic scored a three-point goal just 27 seconds into the second half to trim the Blast's lead to 14-9 but Gonzaga scored his second goal of the match to make it 16-9 in the tenth minute.
Djerisilo scored early in the fourth quarter to make it 16-11 but it was the last eight minutes of the final quarter that had all the action, including three unanswered Riot goals to all but erase the Blast's lead. Chicago's Marco Sullo was sent to the penalty box for a pushing call against Warren Ukah which led to a shootout goal from Giuliano Celenza, followed by a Riot goal from Maher just six seconds later. Mere seconds after Maher's goal, Sagu came up with a big save but Eric Lukin from the Riot scored again at 7:52 to cut the Blast lead to 18-15. Sandre Naumoski closed the gap to 18-17 with less than there minutes to go but the Riot were unable to score another last-minute game-winner.
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Buy tickets to any of the remaining Blast home games.
Blast vs. Riot, 2010-11:
November 19, 1st Mariner Arena - W, 10-6
January 16, Odeum Sports and Expo Center - L, 12-14
January 29, 1st Mariner Arena - W, 18-17
January 30, Odeum Sports and Expo Center
March 4, 1st Mariner Arena
March 6, Odeum Sports and Expo Center
Remaining Home Blast Games:
February 18 vs. Omaha Vipers
February 20 vs. Milwaukee Wave
March 4 vs. Chicago Riot
March 13 vs. Missouri Comets