Rochester rallies in 4th to edge Thunder, 15-14 Knighthawks slip past Baltimore into 2nd place

March 01, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Rochester goalkeeper Derek General was prepared to spend the season sitting on the bench and watching six-year veteran Steve Dietrich man the goalposts.

But with Dietrich and eight other Knighthawk players confined to Canada, General made his first career start against Baltimore and stopped 49 shots to preserve a 15-14 win in an important National Lacrosse League game before 6,719 at the Baltimore Arena last night.

General, who had played just nine minutes in two seasons, was pressed into duty because nine Rochester players and two coaches, including coach Paul Day, were denied entrance to the United States until they can clear matters with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"You have to seize the moment," General said of his performance. "I play behind one of the best goalies in the league. You don't get too many opportunities like this."

With the win, Rochester, which won last year's now-defunct Major Indoor Lacrosse League championship, improved to 6-2 and jumped past the Thunder into second place. Baltimore slipped to 5-2.

Gary Gait of the Thunder scored six goals to raise his total to 38 for the season, but General proved to be the difference.

Down 13-10 1: 25 into the final quarter, the Knighthawks relentlessly attacked Baltimore goalkeeper Derek Collins and scored five unanswered goals to take a 15-13 lead.

Cory Bomberry scored two of the four tallies, one on a five-on-three Rochester power play, thanks to a five-minute boarding major assessed to Kip Fulks and a two-minute delay-of-game minor to Bob Martino.

Tim Hormes made it a one-goal game for the Thunder with his third of the game with 2: 19 left in the game.

Capitalizing on momentum and a fervent crowd, Baltimore mounted a furious rally by launching four shots in a minute span, but General turned away everything -- including two from Jeff Klodzen -- to seal the win.

"In the second half he won the game for us," said assistant coach Tom Cincebox, who filled in for Day. "He had point-blank saves to deal with, and that made the difference."

Baltimore had seemingly put the game away less than two minutes into the third quarter. Staked to an 8-7 lead, Gait bounced a shot through the legs of General 66 seconds into the second half.

Dan Radebaugh scored his second goal of the game 31 seconds later and gave the Thunder a 10-7 lead.

Rochester's Tim Soudan and Baltimore's Paul Cantabene exchanged goals 18 seconds apart to make it an 11-8 game 5: 20 into the third quarter.

Even when Cam Bomberry scored two consecutive goals with 7: 23 left in the third quarter, Gait scored his sixth of the night and xTC 38th of the season to end the period at 12-10.

Martino scored 85 seconds into the fourth quarter, before the Knighthawks proved why they were last year's champs.

Pub Date: 3/02/98

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