It was snowing outside the Baltimore Arena last night, and inside it was raining lacrosse balls.
The Baltimore Thunder and New York Saints combined for 152 shots, but Todd Curry's late goal was the difference in the Thunder's 12-11 victory before 8,742 in a Major Indoor Lacrosse League game.
Curry, picking up a loose ball in the New York zone, beat goalie Sal LoCasio with two minutes remaining to break an 11-11 tie.
The win moved the Thunder (2-1) into a first-place tie with the Saints (2-1) in the American Division.
Curry, Rick Sowell, Jeff Jackson, Matt Kerwick and Pat Welsh scored two goals each for the Thunder, but the key was rookie goalie Steve Dietrich, who made 41 saves in his first start of the season.
"I couldn't be happier with the play of Dietrich," said Thunder general manager Darrell Russell. "He really performed well under pressure. I liken our getting him to the Colts' getting John Unitas. [The Colts are said to have gotten Unitas for the price of a short phone call to Pennsylvania in 1956]. That's all I did, make a phone call. New York is a very aggressive team, and they kept showering Dietrich with shots."
Rob Codignotto, Tim McIntee and Bob Cummings scored two goals each for the Saints, and LoCasio made 42 saves.
"It was a tough win," said Dietrich, of Kitchener, Ontario. "I've been involved in a lot of one-goal games in Canada, but never anything like this before 9,000 people. But you have to be always alert in a one-goal game. You can't afford to let down."
Saints coach Bob Engelke said: "Dietrich was the difference. He came up big when he had to. It was a very good game, a game that could have gone either way. With a goal here or there, we could have won. We had our chances, but it seemed Dietrich was always there to stop us."
New York general manager Tom Flatley said: "It was a heck of a game. But it always is when New York and Baltimore get together. Both goalies played very well. The game could have gone either way."
The Saints took a 2-0 lead on goals by Codignotto and Seth Tierney (Johns Hopkins), but the Thunder cut the lead to 2-1 on Sowell's goal off a feed from Jackson.
NOTES: The Thunder's next home game will be Feb. 29 against the MILL defending champion Detroit Turbos. . . . Baltimore was without G Tom Manos, who was out of town on a business trip. hTC Dietrich started in his place. . . . In addition to Manos, the Thunder scratched Sean Smith (Loyola), Tony Morgan (Cornell), Steve Beardmore (Maryland), Chris Gunkle (Loyola) and Lance Savage (Hobart). The Saints scratched Bob Cook, Tom Towers, Steve Sombrotto, Mikko Red Arrow (Towson) and Mike Sullivan. . . . New York signed former Thunder player John Heil, an Annapolis native.