DALLAS --The Blast kept alive its slim playoff hopes last night, thanks to Doug Miller's two third-period goals which put the Blast in position to take an 8-7 road victory against the Dallas Sidekicks.
The victory also kept Dallas from securing the home-field advantage in the early rounds of the playoffs.
Miller, playing in only his 13th game this year, was filling in for the injured Rod Castro, the Blast's second-leading scorer.
Miller's first goal came from a 45-degree angle as he faked right and fired a shot off the far post.
His second was a rebound off a Rusty Troy shot which Sidekicks goalie Joe Papaleo deflected.
The Blast played some tough defense in the third period, holding the Sidekicks to just five shots. It didn't hurt any, either, that Tatu took most of the period off, playing only in the final couple of minutes.
The Blast's Jean Harbor stopped the Sidekicks' momentum with a goal that tied the score at 6-6 and Rusty Troy tied it at 7-7.
Domenic Mobilio's goal with 1:42 remaining secured the victory.
It took Tatu, a league's fourth leading scorer, just 73 seconds to put the Sidekicks ahead, 1-0. He accepted a pass on the run from Troy Snyder on the left side and did a hook-slide to get the goal.
After two line changes, Baltimore got its only goal of the period. Joe Koziol was pinned on the left side and got off a feeble shot that missed wide right. Rusty Troy, playing before his hometown fans, was there to hammer in a rebound shot from 20 feet.
Dallas' tenacious defense and free-wheeling offense would stymie the Blast as Dallas scored three more times in the period.
With 6:23 to play in the quarter, Wes McLeod passed across the middle to a wide open David Doyle. Doyle was coming toward the ball and hammered it crossways with his foot. The shot went whizzing by a bewildered Cris Vacarro.
Boyle got his second goal of the period with 3:52 to play when he converted a missed shot from Tatu.
The Sidekicks got their final goal of the period with just 29.7 seconds remaining. As defender Mike Uremovich hammered a pass off the near --erboard, Roderick Scott, who was facing his own goal, back-footed the ball into the net.
The Blast rallied somewhat in the second period, scoring two goals, but also allowed the Sidekicks a goal to trail, 5-3.
Doug Neely got the Blast started with a front sliding goal midway through the period.