Blast shuts down Sidekicks, 6-2 Cooper praises Vacarro's defense

December 08, 1991|By Michael Gunstanson | Michael Gunstanson,Special to The Sun

DALLAS -- Cris Vacarro was virtually flawless in goal last night, allowing just two shots to slip by as the Dallas Sidekicks were practically helpless in their home by the Baltimore Blast, 6-2.

"Vacarro has been magnificent," Blast coach Kenny Cooper said. "We talked about it late in the game and decided to leave him in to get his goals-against-average down." Rod Castro got two goals, one from a shootout, to lead the Blast. He would have had another but goalie Joe Papaleo successfully defended the shootout. Both shootout attempts were the result of hand ball calls on Mike Uremovich.

The Blast held a 2-1 lead at halftime, but two third-quarter goals gave them all they would need.

Castro got the first goal of the third period with just two minutes gone. After the first of Uremovich's hand balls, Castro took the penalty kick, cut left then right and fired a shot into the far left post. Papaleo bit on the fake and was lying on the ground when the shot found its mark.

Dallas narrowed the gap when Kevin Smith's shot from the far left corner hit the Blast's Mark Mettrick. The deflection set up a perfect shot by Dallas' David Doyle who converted the opportunity.

Dallas survived the second hand ball shootout and successfully defended the power play. But with 17.1 seconds remaining, Joe Koziol passed half the length of the court to a wide open Billy Ronson on the right side. The pass caught Papaleo napping and Ronson converted the goal.

With just 2:46 gone in the fourth Jean Harbor's shot deflected off the right post, but Ronson was there to kick the deflection into the net.

The crowd, and the Sidekicks, became very upset when a shot by Tatu, who was held scoreless by Iain Fraser, was not awarded as a goal. The shot rolled through the legs of Vacarro, and straddled the line.

"That was a judgment call," Cooper said. "And I don't think it would have made any difference anyway."

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