The Baltimore Blast, led by forward Lucio Gonzaga, defeated the Philadelphia KiXX, 19-8, Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena. After opening the 2009-10 MISL season with a 10-8 overtime loss to the Rockford Rampage, the Blast regained their offensive firepower to even out to 1-1 on the season. Six different players scored for the Blast; Gonzaga led all players with three goals.
All Blast home games will be webcast live this season at www.B2TV.com.
The KiXX took an early 2-0 lead in the seventh minute off a Ptah Myers power-play goal. Late in the quarter, following a handball by KiXX goalkeeper Sanaldo, Blast all-time leading scorer Denison Cabral was unable to convert a shootout goal but followed up seconds later with a goal on the ensuing power play to tie the game at 2-2.
The first three minutes of the second quarter saw a flurry of goalscoring as Ryan Heins, Lucio Gonzaga and Rey Martinez each recorded goals. Heins scored just 33 seconds into the quarter to put the KiXX back on top, 4-2, and less than a minute later, Gonzaga, playing in his first game since returning to the Blast, tied the game at 4-4 with his first goal of the night. Former Blast player Rey Martinez scored against his old teammates to give the KiXX a 6-4 lead at the 2:13 mark. Blast defender Mike Lookingland scored in the sixth minute to tie the game again, this time at 6-6, before Machel Millwood gave Baltimore its first lead of the night, 8-6. Gonzaga's second goal extended the Blast lead to 11-8 shortly before the halftime intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, the final quarter of play featured four goals, including two Blast three-point goals scored against Philadelphia's sixth-attacker offense. Gonzaga completed his hat trick midway through the quarter, increasing Baltimore's lead to 13-6 and Billy Nelson and Jonathan Greenfield added empty-net three-point goals. Former Blast player Adauto Neto scored the KiXX last goal of the game just seconds after Nelson's goal to cut into the Blast lead, 16-8, before Greenfield seal the 19-8 victory.
Led by head coach Danny Kelly and assistant coach David Bascome, the Blast features veterans and long-time Blast players Cabral, newly named team captain Robbie Aristodemo, Giuliano Celenza, Carlos Garcia, Millwood, Sagu, Nelson and Lookingland. Dave Kern, Scott Buete, Ryan Pierce and Greenfield are also back in Blast uniforms as are last year’s standout rookies Pat Healey and Adrian Bumbut. Gonzaga, a member of Baltimore’s 2008 championship squad, is back in Baltimore after spending last season with the New Jersey Ironmen. The Blast has also added Rod Dyachenko, Mike Dello-Russo, Logan Alexander, Max Ferdinand and Adriano Dos Santos to the roster.
The Blast is off until December 13 when they travel to Monterrey, Mexico to take on La RaZa.