Blast turns page on recent history, comes from behind at Tacoma, 6-4

December 27, 1991|By John Lawrence | John Lawrence,Special to The Sun

TACOMA, Wash. -- The book on the Baltimore Blast coming to the Tacoma Dome has been remarkably consistent of late: Four visits stretching over parts of the past two seasons had resulted in four one-goal losses -- three in overtime.

Baltimore would have none of that last night before 5,942 fans, as the Blast rallied to post a 6-4 victory -- thanks to two goals each by Rusty Troy, Joe Koziol and rookie Kris Kelderman. Thus, the Blast broke a three-game losing streak and evened its record at 8-8.

Down by 3-2 at halftime, Baltimore limited Tacoma to three shots in the third quarter to build a 4-3 lead. Then, with Tacoma turning on the pressure, Baltimore struck with two counterattack goals in the fourth to put it away.

Kelderman scored the first on a breakaway, fed by Doug Miller, at 7 minutes, 45 seconds.

Koziol scored his second to put Tacoma away at 8:41 by converting a rebound from the penalty area.

The Stars, with a sixth attacker, did get a goal from Ralph Black at 10:17, but it wasn't enough.

Baltimore had taken a 4-3 lead with two quick goals late in the third quarter.

On the first one, Rod Castro stole a ball in the Tacoma end and hit Kelderman. Kelderman, from right wing, chipped a high ball over the head of Tacoma goalkeeper Mike Dowler 11:22 into the quarter. Castro's assist extended his scoring streak to 11 games.

Just 1:05 later, Troy surprised Dowler with a bomb from outside the red line that easily beat him inside the left post.

Tacoma took a one-goal halftime lead when former Blast forward Dale Mitchell connected on a right-footed low drive from the penalty area with 2:30 left in the half. The assist went to Greg Ion. The Blast had tied it, 2-2, 8:54 into the second period with a finders-keepers goal.

After three Tacoma defenders played volleyball with the ball near the Stars' penalty area, Koziol, creeping down left wing, found the ball at his feet.

He did what came naturally, kicking it into a nearly open net.

Tacoma had scored at 6:36 on a goal nearly as fortunate.

The Stars' Ion, from Mitchell, cranked a left-footer from left wing that bounced off the left hand of Blast keeper Cris Vaccaro and inside the near post.

Tacoma got on the board at 4:04, when Nikki Ristic gave a perfect through pass to a streaking Freddie Thompson on right wing past Baltimore's Doug Miller. Thompson's low shot beat Vaccaro to his right.

But at 5:26, the Blast tied it on a goal by Troy from the penalty area. Troy stretched to get his left foot on a cross from Iain Fraser.

Afterward, Tacoma keeper Mike Dowler made a difficult foot save on a drive by Troy, and Baltimore's David Eise saved a goal by blocking a Dale Mitchell shot on an open goal.

From here, the Blast will take on the Storm in St. Louis tonight and play host to the San Diego Sockers on Sunday.

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