Blast beats Crunch Vaccaro KO'd in 8-7 comeback

December 14, 1991|By Kevin Martin | Kevin Martin,Special to The Sun

RICHFIELD, Ohio -- Domenic Mobilio capped a heroic comeback by the Baltimore Blast by knocking in a wall pass from Doug Neely one minute and 57 seconds into overtime as it beat the Cleveland Crunch, 8-7, before 6,068 at the Richfield Coliseum last night.

The Blast (7-5), who scored five goals in the fourth period to force the extra session, got the game's final three goals with midfielder Billy Ronson in the net. That was because regular goalie Cris Vaccaro was knocked out the game, literally, by a Dave Hoggan shot with 7:14 left in the contest. Vaccaro took the full force of the shot in the face and was on the floor for 15 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher to Marymount Hospital in Cleveland in a neck brace. He was unconscious for several minutes.

Just 1:25 after Vaccaro's injury, Mobilio headed in the rebound of Mike Stankovic miss to make it 7-6.

With 2:08 left Emil Dragicevic tied things as he had the ball bounce off his body into the net after Cleveland goalie Otto Orf had stopped a Ronson shot.

Ronson had put the Blast, who have won six of their last seven, up just 2:50 into the contest as he converted the rebound of a Rod Castro shot. The assist extended Castro's point scoring streak to seven games.

With just 15 seconds left in the period -- and just after Vaccaro made a tremendous save to rob Cleveland's Chico Moreira -- Iain Fraser sent a beautiful cross-field pass to Kevin Sloan who was all alone at the far post for an easy tap-in. It was Sloan's first MSL point.

The Crunch cut the gap in half 8:26 into the second period when Gregg Willin headed in a pass from the head of Kai Haaskivi.

Cleveland squared the count 3:28 before the half when Hector Marinaro knocked in a feed from Hoggan at the end of a three-on-two counter attack.

Just 2:15 later Marinaro tallied again as he headed in the rebound of a Moreira shot.

Midway through the third quarter the Blast penalty killers did their job after Stankovic was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.

However, with 1:58 left in the period Zoran Karic sent a restart kick from the top of the box right into the net as Willin screened Vaccaro to make it 4-2. Marinaro completed his hat trick 2:28 into the final period knocking his own rebound after Vaccaro had made a fine stop on the initial shot.

Baltimore finally ended Cleveland's five-goal run just 25 seconds later as Joe Koziol scored against his former team with Emil Dragicevic assisting.

Hoggan made the difference three again as he got behind Mobilio and tapped in a Karic feed.

The Blast retaliated quickly again as Doug Neely picked a loose ball near the box and put in only 18 seconds later.

The pinball scoring continued as Karic knocked in a Andy Schmetzer rebound while Stankovic converted a Ronson miss. That made the final tally six goals in 4:48.

Blast midfielder Rusty Troy missed his second straight game Friday with a severe case of strep throat and is doubtful for tonight's 7:35 p.m. contest against Dallas at the Baltimore Arena

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