Penalties cost Blast in 16-14 loss to KiXX

Team gives away 9-2 lead

conference title still possible

March 27, 2000|By Laura Borden | Laura Borden,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHILADELPHIA -- The physical battles and verbal assaults that occurred in Philadelphia two weeks ago seemed to be in the past yesterday as the Blast faced the KiXX for the last of eight meetings this season. But it was still penalties that caused the Blast's downfall in a 16-14 loss at the First Union Spectrum.

The lead changed three times in the final quarter before Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman took two penalties, which resulted in two shootout goals by Philadelphia player/coach Omid Namazi.

"With Scott in the box, it caused a tough situation," said the Blast's Mark Thomas, who led the team with six points.

"[Backup goalie David Tenney] had to come in cold. The ref just called what he saw. We tried to fight, but it's tough coming back from that."

Hileman was assessed the first penalty for an illegal handball, and was given a misconduct penalty when leaving the box for squirting an official with his water bottle. Paul Wright added a late goal for the Blast but the team couldn't even the score.

"[The KiXX] made a good run," Blast coach Kevin Healey said. "They started getting guys down low and created chances."

Derrick Marcano nearly scored 10 seconds into the game with a pounding shot into the right top corner, but the ball went just wide. Denison Cabral drew Philadelphia goalkeeper Peter Pappas out of position and passed to Thomas, who put the ball in the net to put the Blast on the board first.

"I thought we had control," Thomas said. "We were up 9-2 and then they got four goals off of free kicks. We did well five-on-five, but we gave goals up when they came in closer."

The teams traded goals in the third quarter as Namazi brought the KiXX within two with a two-point goal. Wright blasted a three-point restart shot past Pappas to give the Blast a five-point lead going into the final quarter.

Despite the loss, the Blast is still in the hunt for the American Conference title. The team finishes the regular season with games against Buffalo and Wichita.

"We want to try to win the conference," Healey said.

"This hurt us, but it doesn't kill us. We also want to be in a strong position for the playoffs. I think we did that."

Blast 4 2 3 5 -- 14

Philadelphia 0 2 2 12 -- 16

First quarter--1, Blast, Thomas, 2 pt., 2: 31; 2, Blast, Thomas, 2 pt.,4: 57. Penalties--None.

Second quarter--3, Philadelphia, Mobilio, 2 pt., 10: 20; 4, Blast, Walker, 2 pt., 11: 19. Penalties--Philadelphia, delay of game.

Third quarter--5, Philadelphia, Namazi, 2 pt., 5: 22; 6, Blast, Wright, 3 pt., 11: 11. Penalties--None.

Fourth quarter--7 Philadelphia, D'Ambra, 2 pt., 1: 45; 8, Philadelphia, Mobilio, 2 pt., 4: 23; 9, Philadelphia, D'Ambra, 2 pt., 5: 42; 10, Blast, Kelly, 2 pt., 6: 09; 11, Blast, Thomas, 2 pt., 6: 09; 12, Philadelphia, Namazi, 1 pt., 7: 08; 13, Philadelphia, Hunjak, 2 pt., 8: 10; 14, Philadelphia, Namazi, 1 pt., 8: 10; 15, Blast, Wright, 2 pt.,8: 46; 16, Philadelphia, Sloan, 2 pt., 10: 00. Penalties--Philadelphia, Gilbert, holding; Philadelphia, Doliscat, misconduct, 5 min.; Blast, Hileman, illegal hand ball, 2 min; Blast, Hileman, misconduct.

Shots on goal--Blast 4-2-3-716. Philadelphia 1-9-5-823. Power-play opportunities--Blast 0 for 0. Philadelphia 1-for-3. Goalies--Blast, Hileman 1-5-3-211. 11 saves, Tenney 0-0-0-11. (1 save) Wright 0-0-0-00 (0 saves.) Philadelphia, Pappas 0-1-2-58 (8 saves). A--6,012.

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