MISL championship preview: Wave (17-11) at Blast (15-10)

March 24, 2011|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

Milwaukee Wave (17-11) at Blast (15-10)

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

Where: 1st Mariner Arena

Video: B2TV.com

Outlook: Both teams finished with 15-5 regular-season records, but the Blast won the season series over the Wave, 4-2, to claim first place and earn the right to host the championship game. While the home team was resting last week, the Wave survived a best-of-three semifinal scare against the third-place Missouri Comets, winning in the third and deciding mini-game, 5-2. The Blast and Wave are the two most successful and storied franchises remaining in the current five-team league. The teams have combined to win nine of the past 13 league championships (the Blast has won five, the Wave has won four). This season at 1st Mariner Arena, the Wave took the first game against the Blast, 15-12, on Jan. 9 before the home team took the last two — 14-6 on Jan. 21 and 20-9 on Feb. 20. The Blast rely on stingy defense and a balanced offense. Goalie Sagu and defender Pat Morris earned first-team All-MISL honors this season with defender Mike Lookingland and forward Pat Healey receiving second-team mentions. Containing Milwaukee's first-team All-MISL forward Marco Terminisi, who is second in the league with 72 points, will be a priority for the Blast. Blast coach Danny Kelly preaches accountablility and doing the little things, which will be key to bring home another championship against the disciplined Wave. The home team has plenty of sources on offense with Healey (team-high 48 points), Max Ferdinand (43), Morris (42) and Machel Millwood (42) leading the way. Expect a spirited effort from hometown product Giuliano Celenza, who will be playing his final game after a successful 11-year career in which he totaled more than 400 points. The Blast will honor longtime fan favorite Denison Cabral, who finished his time with the Blast last season, during a halftime ceremony.

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