Stankovic scores, helps Americans to All-Star win Next season's NPSL game to be at Baltimore Arena

February 12, 1996|By Bob Stratton | Bob Stratton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WICHITA, Kan. -- This hasn't been a bad couple of weeks for the Spirit's Mike Stankovic.

The 39-year-old defender was selected for his first all-star game and took over as coach for Baltimore. Yesterday, he capped it off with a goal in the ninth annual NPSL All-Star Game.

The league announced right before the game that next year's event will be held at the Baltimore Arena.

Stankovic's goal midway through the third period helped the American Division to a 16-15 victory over the National Division before 7,895 fans. Ted Eck of Wichita and the National team was named the game's MVP. He had a hat trick.

The American Division has won five of the last six All-Star games. Stankovic's goal at 7:04 lifted the Americans to a 10-4 advantage.

"That was pretty nice," said Stankovic. "I got a perfect pass and just let it go."

Franklin McIntosh, the Spirit's other All-Star, helped the National Division back in the game.

McIntosh boarded Eck for a penalty and Eck scored on the shootout. Eck scored a two-point goal two minutes later to tighten the score to 10-7.

"When Ted was hit into the boards, it wired him up," said National coach Keith Tozer. "It was a turning point for us."

Goals by Goran Hunjak and Kim Roentved gave the Nationals their first lead of the game, 11-10. Two minutes later, Hunjak of Kansas City lifted the Nationals to a 13-10 advantage.

But back came the Americans. Gino DiFlorio scored consecutive goals, then Michael King gave the Nationals a 15-14 lead at the 9:54 mark of the fourth quarter.

Marcelo Carrera, who scored the game's first goal, scored at the 10:07 mark to put the Americans on top to stay.

The teams battled to a 4-4 tie in the first half with play dominated by starting goalkeepers Otto Orf and Victor Nogueira.

"Great, great goalkeeping," said American Division coach Bruce Miller of Cleveland. "You've got to figure, though, as the game goes on and these guys get tired, the game is going to open up. My guys were exhausted."

The American Division had opened a 4-0 lead on goals by Carrera and Shawn Medved. Pato Margetic scored at 7:44 of the first, then Eck got his first goal, the only goal of the second period.

The National Division lost despite out-shooting the Americans, 44-29.

"I think maybe we just had more luck than them," said Stankovic. "It just came down to whoever did the finishing."

American 4 0 6 6 -- 16

National 2 2 3 8 -- 15

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