Spirit right at home again against Blizzard, 16-11

November 19, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Sooner or later, the law of averages says, the Buffalo Blizzard has to win a game at the Baltimore Arena.

But last night wasn't the night.

Winless in two-plus seasons here, the Blizzard lost to the Spirit for the seventh straight time at the Arena, 16-11, before 5,771. The victory raised the Spirit's lifetime home record to 40-5.

"The crowd urging us on, the players being comfortable with the field -- all those things are in our favor," coach Dave MacWilliams said before the game. "If you're not comfortable at home, where will you be? The record speaks for itself."

Brad Smith's third goal of the night, a three-pointer, broke an 11-11 tie late in the third quarter and gave the Spirit (6-2) a lead it never relinquished. Kevin Sloan's second goal of the night raised the advantage to 16-11 early in the fourth quarter.

MacWilliams kept telling his players that the key to breaking down Buffalo was to race down the field faster on the counterattack. Smith, for one, listened.

"Joe winged it out," Smith said, referring to goalie Joe Mallia, who got an assist on the three-point goal. "The ref was in my way, so I gave him a polite shove, dribbled, cut in and let it go."

The first quarter ended in a 2-2 tie after Smith's two-point goal with 34 seconds remaining neutralized one-point shots by Buffalo's Paul Dougherty and Dean Kelly.

Both teams erupted in the second quarter with a total of 15 points. Dougherty scored two more goals for a hat trick and, with two assists, had six points at halftime.

Smith got his second goal, giving him 14 points in five games with the Spirit since being acquired from the Dayton Dynamo. Spirit scoring leader Kevin Sloan added a goal and Jon Parry, the No. 2 scorer who had missed three games with a sprained ankle, marked his return with a two-pointer. The Spirit led at halftime, 10-9.

NOTES: Spirit coach MacWilliams will undergo more tests Monday as doctors try to determine the cause of the dizziness and headaches that caused him to miss practice Thursday. "It's a little better, but there's still something wrong," he said. . . . Spirit rookie Jamie Christie missed the game with a pulled hamstring.

Buffalo 2 7 2 0 -- 11

Baltimore 2 8 4 2 -- 16

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