3/8 TC It may be a new season, but it's the same old story in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. Gary and Paul Gait and the rest of the Detroit Turbos are as dominating as ever.
The Gaits exerted their dominance to the very end last season, combining for six goals in the Turbos' 14-12 victory over the Baltimore Thunder in the championship game.
Little has changed. At 3-0, Detroit is the league's only unbeaten team. Gary Gait and fellow Turbo Pete Parke share the goals lead with 12 apiece, followed by the Buffalo Bandits' Darris Kilgour (11) and the Thunder's Jeff Jackson (10) and Matt Kerwick (nine).
And Paul Gait? He has nine goals, having missed one game, but scored eight in a 23-17 victory over the Buffalo Bandits. His outburst broke the league record of seven set by the Washington Wave's Mark Gold in 1988.
In total points, Gary Gait is first with 21, with Parke (19), Kilgour (16), Jackson (14) and Paul Gait and the Pittsburgh Bulls' Bob Martino (13 each) in pursuit.
Traveling man: Speaking of Gold, the former UMBC star has been on a shuttle in his six years in the league. He started with Washington in 1987, then went to Pittsburgh, New England (which this year is known as Boston) and now back to Pittsburgh.
Third game a charm: After an inauspicious start, rookie Steve Dietrich made his presence felt in the goal in the Thunder's third game. The 21-year-old Canadian made 41 saves and was named MVP in the Thunder's 12-11 win over the New York Saints last Saturday.
Dietrich was less than dazzling in the first two games and took a thorough pounding from the Turbos. He was sharing the job with Tom Manos, but coach John Stewart let him go the distance against New York.
"He was outstanding and made critical saves in the last 1 1/2 minutes in a one-point win," Stewart said. "He was the difference.
"He was rusty when he first came here because he hadn't played since last summer. But in the weeks since Detroit took it to him, he has settled down. In practice, we gave him all the looks we could think of. He simply had to become acclimated to the American indoor game, which is much faster and has more shots than box lacrosse in Canada."
The Thunder, tied with New York at 2-1 for the MILL's American Division lead, is idle until it travels to Boston on Saturday.
Too much assistance: MILL official Ed Wayda vows that the league is going to "clamp down" on Detroit's "assist-happy" scorekeepers who are generously awarding two assists on most goals. That explains why Detroit goalie Ted Sawicki, of all people, leads the league in assists with 10.
"There are times when a goalie gets an assist, like on a boom-boom scoring play where he makes the first pass," Wayda said. "But for a goalie to be leading the league . . ."
' Right, it's ridiculous.