Jeff Jackson scored four goals, including the game-winner, to lead the Baltimore Thunder to a 19-15 victory over the New England Blazers before 7,605 at the Baltimore Arena last night.
The triumph was the first of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League season for Baltimore (1-2), which had to rally from a 6-2 deficit. Ricky Sowell and John Nostrand had three goals each, and Sowell added three assists for the Thunder.
"Jackson's goal that gave us the lead was a clutch effort," Thunder coach John Stewart said. "It was a tremendous effort. The play of [Jeff] Gombar was also one of the keys to our win."
Goalie Gombar, who entered the game with Baltimore trailing, 6-2, made 25 saves and had three assists with long clearing passes.
"I get really pumped up out there," Gombar said. "I was psyched and I'm still psyched. I hope I gave the team a lift."
Jim Huelskamp, the Thunder captain, said he was relieved. "We needed this one," he said. "It was a must win. I know it's a long season and we haven't played anyone in our division yet, but we didn't want to lose again."
"Being 0-3 is a pretty deep hole," Stewart said. "We had our backs to the wall and we started the game a little sluggish. But the guys pulled it together, came back and finished strong."
"I can't be disappointed with the crowd," Thunder general manager Darrell Russell said. "We can't expect a sellout for every game, and I think was a nice turnout."
Of his team's performance, he said: "We obviously played better than the last two games, but we still have a lot to work on. We have to get quicker line changes, and some of the young players still have to learn how to play this game."
NOTES: Jim Beardmore, former University of Maryland and Washington Wave goalie, has been signed to a Thunder contract to replace Tom McClelland, out with a back injury. Beardmore's brother, Steve, is also a member of the Thunder. . . . Referee Tom Young was hit in the face with a shot late in the first half. After first aid, Young returned to his job.