PHILADELPHIA -- It doesn't matter which sport, playing catch-up is often a hazardous approach.
The Baltimore Thunder of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League learned that lesson last night in a 17-14 loss to the Philadelphia Wings. The Thunder watched the Wings score three goals in the first five minutes, then spent much of the rest of the night trying to get even.
The Thunder did catch up a few times and even held the lead briefly, but it ran out of comebacks.
Paul Gait, who lives in Baltimore, scored seven goals in his debut with the Wings (1-0). The game-winner, however, went to John Nostrant with 3:25 left, before the Wings scored twice in the final moments.
"The key to this game is to keep it close until the last three to four minutes. Then it [could] go either way," said Jeff Jackson, who led the Thunder (1-1) with five goals. "We were right where we wanted to be."
After trailing virtually the entire game, the Thunder's Tim Welsh and Rick Sowell scored within a 59-second span late in the third period to give Baltimore a 12-11 lead heading into the final period.
But the Wings were back on top within three minutes, 13-12, on goals by Gary Martin and Rob Hoynes.
Jackson and Kevin Finneran then traded scores, before Philadelphia tried to sit on the lead. It didn't work, as Pat Welsh tied it for the Thunder with 4:17 left.
But less than a minute later, Nostrant fired what proved to be the game-winning goal past David Lee.
Thunder ...... 3 .. 4 .. 5 .. 2 .. -- .. 14
Philadelphia.. 4 .. 5 .. 2 .. 6 .. -- .. 17