For Blast fans, it was a welcome sight Friday night at 1st Mariner Arena, something they have grown accustomed to seeing but have not seen much lately.
After another sluggish first half ended with the home team down two points to visiting Monterrey La RaZa, Blast veteran Denison Cabral put away a tying power-play goal in the opening minutes of the third quarter and headed for the boards. He climbed them jubilantly, put his hands together when he reached the top and celebrated with fans.
It was the spark the Blast players, losers of the past five games, were in dire need of. Rod Dyachenko and Jonathan Greenfield followed with unanswered goals in the pivotal third quarter, and Max Ferdinand added his third goal of the game early in the fourth as the Blast earned a 12-8 win over La RaZa in front of an announced 5,169.
Blast goaltender Dave Kern, who made a point-blank save just before Cabral's tying goal, turned back 11 shots while filling in for starter Sagu, who was serving a one-game suspension.
"We battled," said Blast coach Danny Kelly, who noted the lift Cabral's goal provided. "You go through these slides where you have to fight your way back. It was a very difficult win, but a very rewarding win.
"Denison showed what a quality finisher he is by just flicking it over [Monterrey goalkeeper Jose] Bontti. That goal gave us a bit of confidence, and I think we were relaxed a little bit at that point."
In ending its five-game skid, the Blast improves to 6-7 in the Major Indoor Soccer League to claim sole possession of third place. Monterrey, which hammered the Blast, 25-10, at home last weekend, remains in first place with a 9-6 mark.
Two goals from Ferdinand provided all the Blast's offense in a first half that ended with the club down 6-4.
Monterrey got a two-point goal from Shaun David 1:29 into the first quarter, but Ferdinand responded four seconds later, shooting into an open net after Bontti got caught off his line.
After Alejandro Morales gave the visitors a 4-2 lead later in the first quarter, Ferdinand again answered, calmly lofting a shot over Bontti in tight quarters in front to even the score.
La RaZa got the only goal of the second quarter - Jorge Duran scored from in front off a feed from former Blast player Carlos "Chile" Farias - to claim a 6-4 halftime lead.
NOTES: The Blast announced the induction of former goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro and forward Pat Ercoli into the franchise's Hall of Fame. Vaccaro, who had a lengthy career with the original and current Blast franchises, was named the Major Indoor Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year in 1993 and played in two All-Star Games. Ercoli played five seasons with the original Blast, was a member of the 1983-84 MISL championship team and finished with 146 goals and 73 assists in 170 regular-season games and 40 playoff games.
For the box score, see Scoreboard, below.