Thunder collapses in 2nd half

January 09, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

The Thunder tried to cure an ailing defense by signing Dave Pietramala after last season.

But, one man could not stop the bleeding in last night's season opener as the Detroit Turbos had their way with the Thunder in the second half en route to a 15-8 victory before 7,879 at the Baltimore Arena.

The Thunder, which gave up 18.3 goals a game last season -- highest in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League -- gave up five in each of last two quarters while enduring a 25-minute second-half scoring drought.

"I don't think we executed on offense and we got away from our game plan on defense," said Pietramala, a two-time first-team All-MILL pick who came to the Thunder via the dispersal draft after the Pittsburgh Bulls folded.

"We didn't do a good job of executing at all tonight. Once we got up on them, we got away from everything we had been doing right up to that point.

"We weren't hustling to ground balls and they were getting two-on-ones and three-on-twos because we weren't hustling down the floor. We did a good job of beating ourselves tonight."

Baltimore, which finished last in the MILL's American Division last year with a 2-6 record, showed little resemblance to that team as it opened a 4-0 lead in the first quarter on goals by four different players.

Lindsay Dixon, from Towson State, started the scoring with an unassisted behind-the-back shot. Butch Marino made it 2-0 when he scored on a feed from Bill Dirrigl, and Dixon assisted Bob Martino a minute later to stretch Baltimore's lead to 3-0.

Jeff Jackson, the Thunder's all-time leading scorer with 71 goals, completed the four-goal run on a pass from Tim Welsh, but that margin was short-lived as the Turbos took advantage of two-man up situation and finally got on the board with 4:38 left in the first quarter.

Detroit cut the lead to two 1:05 into the second quarter with a goal by Peter Parke and pulled to within 4-3 on a power-play after Ron Klausner's third major penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Baltimore assistant coach John Tucker, who came out of retirement to fill a spot made vacant by the departure of Adam Wright, who could not work his team's games into his work

schedule, showed that he can still get the job done as he rifled a 15-yard shot past Detroit goalie Steve Dietrich (30 saves).

Detroit answered that with 2:08 remaining and trailed at the half, 6-5.

Detroit's Ted Dowling led all scorers with four goals and an assist, and teammate Duane Jacobs had three goals and two assists.

Dixon, who ended Baltimore's second-half slump with an irrelevant goal with 1:07 remaining, was the only Baltimore player with multiple goals as he finished with two goals and one assist.

"We just got away from anything and everything that we should have been doing out there," said Thunder first-year coach Skip Lichtfuss.

"In this league, when the wheels come off the cart there's not a whole lot you can do about it. We were flat coming out in the second half and they took advantage of every mistake we made and we sure made enough of them in the second half."

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