* WHAT'S AHEAD: Vs. Philadelphia Wings Saturday (8 p.m.) at Baltimore Arena in regular-season finale. Thunder will play Detroit Turbos in Major Indoor Lacrosse League championship game April 6, probably at the Arena. The site will be determined by regular-season home attendance; the Thunder leads the Turbos in attendance with one home game remaining.
* WRAPUP: The Thunder (6-3) clinched the American Division title with a 17-14 victory over Philadelphia yesterday before 16,289 at the Spectrum. Jeff Jackson was named the game's MVP after scoring five goals to stretch his team lead to 22. Rick Sowell had three goals and four assists. John Conley led the Wings with four goals and two assists and John Tucker had two and five.
"Jackson was spectacular," said Thunder general manager Darrell Russell. "Next to the Gait brothers, if there's a better player in the league, aside from goalies, I don't know who it is." The Thunder, which took a 7-0 lead and led at halftime, 9-7, got a key goal from Jackson after the Wings closed to within 12-10. On the faceoff, Jackson bowled over former Penn lacrosse and football star Chris Flynn, snatched the ball, raced downfield and scored. "It was a total one-man effort," Russell said. "The game was all but over after that."
In the other MILL game yesterday, Brian Nikula scored the winning goal with 2:50 left in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Bulls a 12-11 win over the New England Blazers.