Thunder comes up goal short Saints win, 10-9, gain in playoffs

March 29, 1993|By Gregg Sarra | Gregg Sarra,Contributing Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Jeff Jackson's final shot of the season smacked against the glass to the right of New York Saints goalie Sal LoCascio. As the ball wound around the boards and into the stick of New York's Tim McIntee, the game ended and, with it, so did the season of the Baltimore Thunder.

The Saints, buoyed by four consecutive goals between the third and fourth quarters, held on for an exciting 10-9 win over the Thunder in the first round of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League playoffs yesterday at the Nassau Coliseum.

"It just wasn't meant to be," Jackson said. "We had our chances and that certainly could have been a big one. We were on a roll, but we couldn't get that last bust."

The Thunder had scored three unanswered goals to pull within 10-9 with 3:33 left on a Tony Millon unassisted goal in a man-up situation.

"This game could have gone either way," said Thunder forward Tim Welsh.

The Saints had taken leads of 6-2 and 10-6, but never closed the Thunder out. Each time it looked as if the game was over, the Thunder came back.

"That's been our problem all season," said the Saints' McIntee. "We never close the door and finish teams off. There always seems to be a lack of concentration on our part."

The Saints let the Thunder back into the game in the third quarter. Trailing 6-2, Brian Kroneberger ignited a four-goal spurt on a crossing pass from Welsh at 6:47 of the third quarter.

Consecutive goals from Jim Blanding, John Tucker and an unassisted score from Welsh drew the Thunder even at 6.

"Throughout the first half, we were fighting for loose balls in the corners and we were pushing the ball up field," said Saints coach William Dougherty. "We watched them hustle right by us in the third quarter."

Thunder goalie Dave Lee was instrumental in both of his team's comeback attempts. Lee stuffed three Saints breakaway tries and came up with critical saves at 7:03 and 9:38 of the third quarter.

"He was exceptional," Dougherty said. "He kept them in the game."

"He played his finest 60 minutes of indoor lacrosse all season," said Thunder coach John Stewart. "The game plan was to hold them to 10 goals or less and we did that. We just couldn't get more than 10 past their guy [LoCascio] who also played well."

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