Thunder struck by Wings' firepower

February 01, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Thunder has almost three weeks to stew over its latest defeat.

After Saturday night's 23-9 mauling by the Philadelphia Wings before 11,408 at the Baltimore Arena, the Thunder is idle until Feb. 20, when it will entertain the Buffalo Bandits.

The Bandits lead the Major Indoor Lacrosse League's National Division, and the Thunder is last in the American with four straight losses since its opening victory.

"Buffalo is every bit as good as Philadelphia," Thunder coach John Stewart said. "They throw 16 quality players at you, a lot of them Canadians with long experience in the indoor game."

The Wings (4-0) threw some quality players at the Thunder, including Rob Shek. The former Towson State star, in his second MILL season, had six goals and an assist to outshine even the Gait brothers.

"A year of experience in this league makes a big difference," Stewart said, noting that Shek had scored eight goals in seven games last season.

Paul and Gary Gait each had three goals and an assist. With 97 goals in two-plus seasons, Paul Gait is on the verge of becoming the first to score 100 in the MILL's seven-year history.

Stewart was grim as he sat in the locker room and reviewed the defeat. He found a lot not to like.

He didn't like the Thunder's letting the score get out of hand (after losing by only three goals to Philadelphia two weeks before). He didn't like the schedule that called for back-to-back games in different cities (a loss to the Saints on Friday in New York preceded Saturday's).

"It may be hard to play two nights in a row," Stewart said, "but to puton a less-than-quality performance like this is really upsetting."

Nor did Stewart like his players fighting. After Pat Welsh decked the Wings' Bill Miller with one punch -- without drawing a penalty -- Thunder goalie Dave Lee got into a fight early in the fourth quarter with Chris Flynn, a former Penn football player. Both were ejected.

Lee, a 22-year-old rookie from British Columbia, is unusually combative for a goalie. Stewart talked to Lee for 15 minutes after the game, outlining what he wants from his goalie.

"We need him in the goal," Stewart said, "not in the penalty box or locker room."

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