Collins, Thunder shock Wings with 11-10 win Goalie's 50-save effort spearheads major upset

February 23, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A decade of frustrating home losses to Philadelphia was put to rest last night as the Thunder stunned the first-place Wings, 11-10, in a Major Indoor Lacrosse League game before 5,407 at Baltimore Arena.

Thunder goalie Derek Collins was named the game's MVP after making 50 saves, including one at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

The Thunder, which hadn't defeated the Wings at home since a 20-19 victory during the league's inaugural season in 1987, celebrated the win with a victory lap.

The result improved the Thunder's record to 2-4 and, most importantly, kept its playoff hopes alive. The Wings fell to 5-2.

"It feels good to stick it to those guys because we felt coming in that they were giving us no respect," Collins said. "They thought they were going to walk right over us and we came in relaxed and stuck it to them.

"We're a better team than our record shows and we know we're a good team. Things are finally starting to fall into place."

Bob Martino and Tim Hormes paced the Thunder with three goals apiece, and Jeff Klodzen chipped in with two goals and an assist.

Philadelphia All-Pro Gary Gait, who had six goals and five assists in Philadelphia's first win over the Thunder, was limited to two goals and an assist last night.

The Thunder's defense rose to the occasion in the first half, holding the Wings' high-powered attack to a season-low three goals. Collins did his part, making 22 saves by intermission.

The first quarter turned into a shootout between Martino and Philadelphia's Kevin Finneran, who opened the scoring 2: 03 into the contest. Martino, who was carried off on a stretcher in the Thunder's loss to Buffalo on Feb. 7, answered with three straight goals, giving the hosts a 3-1 lead.

Finneran closed out the first-quarter scoring with 1: 28 left and Gait tied it at 3 on a feed from Tom Marechek 35 seconds into the second quarter. The Wings didn't score again in the half.

The Thunder, meanwhile, continued to reap the benefits of its hard work on defense. Ryan Wade broke the tie with an underhanded shot off a feed from Jeff Wills, and Hormes plowed through a pair of defenders and stuffed a shot past Wings goalie Dallas Eliuk to give the Thunder a 5-3 lead at halftime.

Kip Fulks scored what proved to be the game winner with 4: 32 left when he blew past Gait and fired a long shot into the right corner of the net.

"We came into the season thinking that we needed more or less a franchise victory over one of the best teams in the league and this is it," said the Thunder's first-year coach, John Tucker, a former member of the Wings. "They believe in themselves and they're playing like they have something to prove."

NOTE: The Thunder will play its final home game Saturday at Baltimore Arena against the New York Saints.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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