Ambush cuts down Spirit, 20-18

March 25, 1995|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,Special to The Sun

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis forward Joe Reiniger scored four goals, including three in the fourth quarter, to lead the Ambush to a 20-18 win over the Baltimore Spirit at the Kiel Center last night.

With the win, St. Louis clinched the National Division title for the second straight season.

The Ambush outscored the Spirit 12-8 in the fourth quarter, a wild period in which the game was tied three times.

Player/coach Daryl Doran and Reiniger scored at 0:43 and 2:29 of the fourth quarter to give the Ambush a 12-10 lead. But the Spirit came right back with Barry Stitz scoring at 2:43 and Franklin McIntosh getting a goal at 4:21, beating Doran at midfield for a 14-12 lead.

Brad Smith made it 16-12 at 6:31 off a free kick and it looked like an Ambush loss.

But Kevin Hundelt scored on a rocket at 9:33 to cut the lead to two, before Kevin Sloan made it 18-14 off another free kick at 9:44.

Then the Ambush took over. Mark Moser sent a great cross to Reiniger for a goal that went off Jamie Christie at 10:16. Doran then scored at 12:20 again on a cross and Reiniger won the game at 14:05 on a rebound that beat Joe Mallia.

"I didn't see the ball go in but I heard the crowd," said Reiniger. "It's great to win the championship, but there has got to be a better way to do it than this."

Just when it looked like the Ambush might take control of the game, its defense fell apart again.

Reiniger scored at 1:32 of the third when he stole the ball from Chris Morgan. But the Spirit came right back, with Mike Stankovic beating Ambush goalie Jamie Swanner at 2:51, and Smith scored at 3:41 to make it 10-6, Spirit. Both goals came from sloppy play in the St. Louis end in front of Swanner.

Moser hit a shot off Sloan at 8:12 to make it 10-8. However, when Omid Namazi was called for charging at 12:27, Eric Eichmann's shootout attempt hit the right post and Mallia stopped the rebound.

Lance Johnson and Jon Parry scored off rebounds at 4:56 and 5:33 of the first period. Then Sloan hit the upper right corner for 6-0 Spirit.

Doran went off for tripping at 7:45 when he fouled Smith. Swanner came out on the shootout and forced Parry wide to the right.

Doran said of Reiniger's effort: "I'm not surprised Joe scored four goals. Joe has learned not only to use his left foot but his right foot. He's not a one-dimensional player anymore."

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