DALLAS -- Tim Wittman's explanation for the Baltimore Blast's lackluster performance against the Dallas Sidekicks was simple: The Sidekicks wanted the victory more than the Blast.
Embarrassed in San Diego 16 hours before, the Sidekicks took out their frustration on the Blast, 7-4, before 6,195 at Reunion Arena. It was the Blast's first loss in four meetings with the Sidekicks this season and its first loss in Dallas since Nov. 26, 1989.
The Sidekicks were coming off a 7-0 loss in San Diego Saturday while the Blast was in Dallas waiting for yesterday's game. The combination left the Blast a great opportunity for a road victory.
"You have to give them credit," Wittman said. "They played well and we didn't. It looks like they wanted it and we didn't. They kept running and we didn't respond until late and you're not going to win that way. They just wanted it a little more . . . actually a lot more."
The Blast couldn't catch the Sidekicks after trailing, 2-0, at the half but did make a late run in the fourth quarter.
The Sidekicks led, 3-2, entering the final quarter, but goals by Mike Uremovich at 4 minutes, 18 seconds and Doc Lawson at 6 minutes, 43 seconds had the Sidekicks comfortably ahead, 5-2.
Blast coach Kenny Cooper went to the sixth attacker after Lawson's goal and the Blast offense awakened. First, Wittman completed his hat trick with a high shot from inside the penalty box at the eight-minute mark. Thirty-eight seconds later, Domenic Mobilio was left unmarked in the box and tapped in Dale Mitchell's pass to pull the Blast within 5-4.
With more than six minutes remaining, Cooper choose to stay with the sixth attacker instead of returning Hank Henry to the goal.
"We had the momentum and everyone felt confident," Cooper said. "We rolled the dice and went with it. Playing six on six, we were down 5-2. For us to win the game we had to stay with it. I take responsibility for going with it."
With 4:01 remaining, Uremovich won the ball from sixth attacker Billy Ronson in the right corner and found the empty net from his own red line.
"The ball got knocked across [the penalty area], it bobbled up and I tried to hit off the boards," Ronson said. "He just blocked it and got it."
Said Uremvich, who played for the Blast in 1987-88: "It was a 50-50 ball." "I just got a foot in there, gave him a little push and off I went. You hit those shots then spent the next three minutes praying it goes in."
Troy Snyder completed the scoring an open-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.
"Any time you get a team off a loss like that, the character comes through and they showed great character," Cooper said. "Sometimes the quicker you can get back on the floor the better."
The Sidekicks took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter.
Baltimore 0 0 2 2 -- 4
Dallas 2 0 1 4 -- 7
First period--1, Dallas, Smith 10 (Snyder) 11:06 (pp). 2, Dallas, Carrera 9 (Smith) 11:06. Penalties--Baltimore: Stankovic, tripping, 9:43.
Second period--no scoring. Penalties--Dallas: Woodberry, pushing, 4:18.
Third period--3, Baltimore, Wittman 14 (Henry) 4:21 (sh). 4, Dallas, Tatu 39 (Uremovich) 12:21. 5, Baltimore, Wittman 15 (Mitchell) 14:02.
Fourth period--6, Dallas, Uremovich 4 (Tatu) 4:18. 7, Dallas, Lawson 11 (Woodberry) 6:43. 8, Baltimore, Wittman 16 (Mobilio) 8:00. 9, Baltimore, Mobilio 25 (Mitchell) 8:38. 10, Dallas, Uremovich 5 (unassisted) 10:59. 11, Dallas, Snyder 7 (unassisted) 14:48. Penalties--Dallas: Powers, persistant infringement, 8:14. Baltimore: Chinapoo, boarding, 11:14.
Shots on goal--Baltimore 4-5-8-17_34, Dallas 10-8-10-9_37. Goalies--Baltimore: Hank Henry (L 3-3), 53:37; 33 shots-16 saves-5 goals allowed; Ronson, 6:23, 4-1-2. Dallas: Krys Sobieski (W 4-3) 60:00, 34-16-4. A--6,195.
Opponent: Kansas City Comets
Site: Baltimore Arena, 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WCAO (600 AM)
Outlook: This is the first regularly scheduled Monday night game in the history of the Blast, and features a renewal of the Baltimore-K.C. battle for first place in the MSL Eastern Division. The Comets hold a 3-2 lead over the Blast this season. Baltimore won the last meeting between the two teams, 6-4, Dec. 27 at the Baltimore Arena. F Rusty Troy had a hat trick in that game, and F Dale Mitchell had one goal and one assist against his former teammates.