Blizzard thrashes Spirit, 20-6

January 14, 1995|By Mike Heim | Mike Heim,Special to The Sun

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Spirit came here last night looking for rejuvenation after a loss in Dayton on Sunday, but Baltimore also had a 1-5 record in Memorial Auditorium.

Despite the Spirit's hopes, that record didn't improve as it was routed, 20-6.

More importantly, the Spirit fell two games behind the Cleveland Crunch in the NPSL American Division race. The Crunch defeated St. Louis, 16-9.

"They stopped playing," Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams said of his players. "Each one of them has to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves because they all had nightmares."

Things seemed to look bright in the first 12 minutes, when the game was tied at 2. But then the Spirit surrendered Paul Dougherty's four one-point goals in two minutes, 15 seconds. Dougherty added two assists to his league-record five one-point goals.

"Things don't go right and they're ready to throw in the towel, and that's not acceptable," MacWilliams said.

Two of Dougherty's first-quarter goals came on shootouts after Spirit tripping penalties, and the other two came on the ensuing power plays.

Michael Collins and Rudy Pikuzinski each scored twice for the Blizzard. Collins scored one of his on a breakaway in the second quarter, giving Buffalo an 8-2 halftime lead.

The Spirit's only goal of the first half came from Franklin McIntosh.

"We just couldn't keep any sustained pressure," said McIntosh. "We'd get the ball for five or 10 seconds, but then they'd keep it for a minute and a half."

Kevin Sloan and Ricky Bush provided the other Spirit goals in the second half.

The third quarter featured much scoring, most of it by Buffalo.

Buffalo outscored the Spirit 10-2 in the period, with all the goals coming within 4:35.

Blizzard goalie Tony Meola, captain of the 1994 U.S. World Cup team, made several spectacular saves in the period. He finished with 15 saves.

"A lot of guys were saying he's a bit dodgy, but he looked good to me," MacWilliams said.

MacWilliams credited the Buffalo defenders but was more disturbed with his team's performance.

"I don't mind getting beat 12-10 or something like that," he said. "I can't swallow what happened here."

Baltimore ..2 ..0 ..4 ..0 ..-- 6

Buffalo .. .6 ..2 .10 ..2 .-- 20

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