03/06/2009 12:04 PM
The first-place Baltimore Blast defeated the Monterrey La RaZa, 16-9, Friday night at 1st Mariner Arena and will host the Philadelphia KiXX Saturday night at 7:35 p.m. The outcome of this weekend's games could determine if the Blast will host the 2009 NISL Championship. Saturday night Billy Ronson and Richard Chinapoo will be inducted into the Baltimore Blast Hall of Fame at halftime.
For the second game in a row, Denison Cabral opened the scoring to give the Blast a 2-0 lead. Cabral also scored the first goal of the game last week in the 18-16 overtime win over La RaZa to record the 900th point of his career. Robbie Aristodemo extended Baltimore's lead to 5-0 late in the first quarter with a power-play three-point goal.
With Sagu seving a two-minute tripping penalty, Mariano Bollella scored a power-play goal in the 11th minute of the second quarter to cut Baltimore's lead to 5-2. Scott Buete scored to make it 7-2 and then Matt Watson added a three-point goal less than a minute later to give the Blast a 10-2 lead going into the halftime intermission.
Much like Sunday's game in Monterrey, La RaZa came out fast in the second half and scored two goals to trim the Blast's lead to 10-6 but Aristodemo scored his second goal of the game to keep the Blast on top, 12-6. Mark Ughy scored the first goal of the third quarter, a power-play goal at 4:07, and David Oteo's goal came at 8:01.
Carlos Garcia scored just 32 seconds into the final quarter of play to extend the Blast lead to 14-6 and Cabral added a shootout goal late in the game to clinch the 16-9 victory. La RaZa defender Genoni Martinez was ejected with 24 seconds remaining in the match.
If the Blast defeat the KiXX on Saturday, they will host the NISL Championship Game on April 11.
The Blast, 6-1 at 1st Mariner Arena, are on a five-game winning streak and sit atop the NISL standings with a 12-2 record.
The Blast is 2-1 this season against the second-place Philadelphia KiXX with Philadelphia being the only team to beat the Blast at home this season (13-6 on January 31). Overall, the KiXX hold the all-time series lead 43-38 but the Blast has the 23-18 in games played in Baltimore.
Tickets for Saturday's game and the March 21st game are available by calling 410-73-BLAST or online at www.TicketMaster.com
. Fans can also listen to all the games live on www.wcbm.com