Wings rally past Spirit, 17-16

March 13, 1995|By Tracy Elliott | Tracy Elliott,Special to The Sun

WICHITA, Kan. -- The Wichita Wings scored two sixth-attacker goals in the final minute to rally from a six-point deficit and beat the visiting Spirit, 17-16, yesterday.

The comeback looked all too familiar to Baltimore coach Dave MacWilliams.

"We had the pressure up front, and the back players were yards off people," he said. "This is the fourth time this season we've lost that way in the last two minutes of the game."

Wichita won the game, televised nationally on ESPN2, on a restart high in the Spirit's defensive zone, where Paul Wright passed to Kim Roentved along the boards.

"No one came to me on the boards and the three guys in the box froze," Roentved said. "All I saw was a [Wings'] white jersey in the middle."

The jersey belonged to John Garvey, who scored his fifth goal of the night with 32 seconds to play. Garvey's earlier shot bounced off the glass above the crossbar to Jimmy McGeough, who headed in the first sixth-attacker goal with 58 seconds left.

After Baltimore's Franklin McIntosh put on the sixth-attacker jersey, Jon Parry's shot was blocked and two quick pokes by Barry Stitz were stopped by Wings goalkeeper Trey Harrington in the final 12 seconds.

Earlier in the fourth period, McIntosh became just the second player in league history to reach 300 career assists. He had three for the game, giving him 301 total.

Two assists gave Kevin Sloan 146 points on the season, tying him with Wright for the club record. Parry scored three goals and goalie Joe Mallia looked strong, making a season-high 23 saves. But the late letdown overshadowed all that.

"We've got to learn how to win the close games," McIntosh said. "Everybody knows we're one of the top teams in the league, but the other teams know if they keep it close and hold on, they can win."

A mental error forced the Wings to face a sixth attacker. Harrington leisurely walked out of the goalie area, signaling a timeout.

Except that Wichita had none left. Parry scored on the restart pass from McIntosh for a 16-13 lead with 2:09 remaining.

The pair had matched up on the previous goal, a 30-foot blast by Parry just eight seconds after Wichita took its first lead. Garvey had curved a long three-pointer by Mallia for a 13-12 edge 3:12 into the final period.

The loss, coupled with Harrisburg's 18-5 loss to Detroit yesterday, kept the Spirit 1 1/2 games ahead of the Heat for second place in the American Division. Baltimore (23-13) travels to Harrisburg (21-14) Friday.

It looked like the Spirit would run away early. Baltimore scored twice in the first 1:39 and took a 6-0 lead just 3:19 into the game.

Wright then fed Tom Soehn on a restart to end the first period. Garvey beat Mallia on a shootout and scored again with nine seconds left in the first half on another crossing pass to the middle.

Baltimore struck quickly again in the third. Brad Smith outraced the defender and scored from 30 feet, 1:04 into the second half.

Jamie Christie, who opened the game's scoring after just 36 seconds, drew two defenders to the boards and fed an unmarked Stitz for a 10-5 lead 5:48 into the second half.

A three-point restart goal by Roentved preceded a long shot by Garvey on a sprint that tied the game 10-10 with 55 seconds remaining in the third period.

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