Thunder in review


* WHAT'S AHEAD: Idle this week, the Thunder will visit the Philadelphia Wings March 17, then entertain the Wings March 23 at the Baltimore Arena in its regular-season finale. The Major Indoor Lacrosse League title game matching division winners (Detroit and Baltimore are current leaders) is scheduled a week after the regular season ends at the arena of the team with the best record (currently Detroit, 7-1).

* WRAPUP: Jeff Jackson scored four goals and goalie Jeff Gombar (31 saves) was voted MVP as the Thunder (5-3) edged the Pittsburgh Bulls, 14-12, Saturday before a Baltimore Arena crowd of 8,727. The Thunder, which has won five of its last six games, leads the American Division by 1 1/2 games over Philadelphia (3-4) with two games left.

The game was marred by fights and 25 penalties totaling 71 minutes; the league average is 12 penalties for 29 minutes. Even the goalie, Gombar, wound up in the penalty box for two minutes after an altercation with fellow Whittier College alum Brian Nikula of the Bulls. The Thunder trailed by as many as six goals and never led until Jackson's fourth goal made it 12-11 with 4:51 left. The locals outscored the Bulls in the second half 8-2, and had six unanswered goals in the fourth quarter.

In Saturday's other game, Gary Gait had five goals and two assists in the Detroit Turbos' 15-8 romp past the host New England Blazers before 8,071.

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