Sidekicks home in on tired Blast, 7-5 Chinapoo, Henry star against ex-mates

December 15, 1991|By Bill Free

-- Suddenly the Baltimore Blast is a better team on the road than at the Baltimore Arena.

The Sidekicks handed the Blast its second straight home loss last night, as former Blast midfielder Richard Chinapoo scored three goals and former Baltimore goalkeeper Hank Henry made 17 saves, leading Dallas to a 7-5 victory at the Arena.

Baltimore is 3-3 at home and 4-3 on the road, where it has won four straight.

Blast coach Kenny Cooper said he was not surprised by the performances of Chinapoo and Henry.

"It's always going to happen," said Cooper. "Former Blast players are always going to play well against us. The problem for us was we couldn't keep the momentum going from Friday night [a comeback 8-7 victory over Cleveland Crunch in overtime]. We were a little tired."

Chinapoo and Henry, who were not re-signed after the team finished 21-31 last season, both wore smiles last night.

"It was just one game and I scored three goals," said Chinapoo. "It was great to get back home [Chinapoo still lives on Wilkens Avenue] and see my family. I don't hold any grudges against anybody."

Henry said: "Dom [Mobilio] and Rusty [Troy] are my best friends. I just wanted to come in here and win my first game this season and I did [his record is 1-2]."

The Blast used the Maryland Bays' Steve Powers in goal.

Powers, who never had played an MSL game, was signed to a 15-day contract yesterday, replacing Cris Vaccaro who was placed on the disabled list with a strained neck muscle.

Powers had less than 24 hours to prepare for the game and was obviously a little nervous at the start of the game. He has worked out 15 times with the Blast in preparation for a possible backup role this season but had not practiced this week.

Vaccaro escaped what at first appeared to be a serious injury Friday night when he was hit in the face by a shot taken by Dave Hoggan on Friday.

Knocked to the turf, Vaccaro was attended to for 15 minutes by Blast trainer Marty McGinty before leaving the floor on a stretcher and going to Marymount Hospital in Cleveland.

After observation that included a CT scan for possible head injuries, the Blast goalkeeper was released at 11:45 Friday night and returned to Baltimore with the team yesterday.

Vaccaro, who watched the game last night, said of the scary scene at Richfield Coliseum: "It's enough to make you think about retiring. I was scared because my neck hurt. I couldn't react in time to get my hands on the ball."

Vaccaro said he didn't sleep Friday night.

Dallas took advantage of some early Powers jitters to gain a 3-0 lead at 4 minutes, 45 seconds of the second quarter.

David Doyle, Chinapoo and Troy Snyder rocketed shots past Powers for the three-goal advantage.

Chinapoo's goal came off a free kick from the red line. Powers guessed right on the shot and moved to the far post, but the ball just eluded him.

Powers also made a few mistakes in judgment in the first half, but he got away with the errors with some quick recoveries for saves.

The best escape by Powers came in the second quarter, when he wandered out of the goal to challenge Tatu.

Tatu beat Powers with the dribble, but Powers got back in time to make the save of a Tatu shot on the open net.

NOTES: Dave MacWilliams, who was chosen to the Blast All-Decade team 2 seasons ago, was the first former Blast player to be honored, last night at the Arena. MacWilliams, who had 115 goals and 85 assists from 1982-87, runs a restaurant chain in Philadelphia. MacWilliams was presented with a satin jacket and a photo of him and Cooper. Other former Blast players will be honored at the remaining 14 home games.

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