Blast wins on five-goal outburst

Cabral's goal caps rally in final six minutes to stop Detroit, 13-12

January 17, 1999|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

Cardiac Kids. Nah, the term that best describes the exploits of the Blast lately has been used a hundred times too many in the past.

The fact remains, however, that the way the team has been closing out its games during a four-game winning streak, a nickname of some sort seems appropriate.

Last night, the Blast stood poised trailing by five points with just six minutes remaining when the frenzied push commenced.

The Detroit Rockers had taken what looked like a commanding lead with a pair of three-pointers, but the Blast went the two-point route three times to prevail, 13-12.

The winning goal was scored by Denison Cabral off a rebound at 10: 53 after Franklin McIntosh and Doug Neely had hammered in goals to set up the tense conclusion.

Trailing, 6-5, after a listless first three periods, McIntosh got the Blast its first lead since early in the second period when he scored at 2: 28 on the concluding quarter.

It was at this point that Blast goalkeeper Khalil Azmi's sometimes mindless wandering away from his net hurt. In three minutes, Alex Cardenas and Drago planted three-pointers and the Rockers' three-game losing streak seemed ended.

"We working with Khalil," said Blast coach Kevin Healey. "We don't want him to change his style because he's a great goalie. But there are a few rules in the indoor game he's got to learn to follow.

"As far as the victory goes, we didn't play that well, but we still won because we believed we could do it. Confidence is half the battle and you can see confidence building in the guys. Another good sign is we won without Danny Kelly [bruised ankle]. We might have had some doubts playing without [all-star] Danny."

The Rockers lost their 11th game in the past 12, six by two points or less.

Similar to the night before, the usual feeling-out process by the teams extended past halftime, the Rockers sort of stumbling into a 4-2 advantage at the break.

The Blast scored first through no fault of his own -- Shane Dougherty was credited with only his third goal of the season -- when Detroit defender Neil Gilbert knocked the ball into his own net.

This woke up the visitors, who evened the score 33 seconds later when Joe Malachino converted a pass from Pato Margetic.

Detroit's go-ahead goal was somewhat of a gift, too, Margetic delivering the ball on a restart from the side to Alejandro Morenoint out front and he had a mostly empty net to shoot at from 20 feet.

Cabral got his team to within 4-3 on a shootout one-pointer before Moreno was on the board again with a steal and solo in on a retreating Azmi. Dougherty's second goal with just six seconds left in the third quarter made it 6-5.

Blast tonight

Opponent: Buffalo Blizzard

Site: Marine Midland Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.

Time: 7: 35 Radio: WJFK (1300 AM)

Outlook: The Blizzard (10-8) ended a four-game losing streak with a win at Detroit last weekend. The Blast has placed goalkeeper Brett Phillips on the injured list with a broken finger and replaced him on the roster with David Tenney, who has been working out with the team all season. Blast midfielder Danny Kelly will probably miss tonight's game with a turned ankle. Pub Date: 1/17/99

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