Crunch holds off Blast's sixth man for 6-4 victory Road win string ends short of record 5

RICHFIELD, OHIO — RICHFIELD, Ohio -- Last Friday, the Baltimore Blast used a sixth attacker to pull out an amazing win over the Cleveland Crunch.

This week the magic wasn't there as the Crunch (5-8) held off the Blast in the final 5 minutes, 30 seconds to record a 6-4 victory before 3,879 at the Richfield Coliseum.


The loss ended Baltimore's road winning streak at four, one short of the team mark, and was the team's second straight setback.

It was also the first time in five games the Blast (7-7) lost after leading going into the fourth quarter.


The difference was two power-plays by the Crunch in the final 7:09.

Zoran Karic, who had a hat trick and an assist, got the first man-advantage tally following an illegal substitution call.

Just 1:39 later, Dave Hoggan sent in a 50-foot shot after David Eise was called for tripping.

Baltimore sent in Billy Ronson as the sixth attacker but, unlike last week, Cleveland's defense held.

The Blast got the game's first goal and once again it was Rod Castro with the assist. His perfect feed through the box was put in the net by Iain Fraser. The assist extended Castro's point-scoring streak to nine games.

Baltimore made that lead hold up as its penalty killers, who are ranked last in the league, thwarted Cleveland after Doug Neely was called for boarding late in the first period

However, the Crunch was able to get even 4:49 before the half when Hector Marinaro sent a restart feed from Karic right through the legs of Blast goalie Steve Powers, who was in nets again in place of the injured Cris Vaccaro.

Karic put Cleveland ahead just 1:21 into a wild third period when he converted a shootout after Powers had come out of the box and tripped him.


The Blast got that one back late in the period when Mark Mettrick tallied off a Castro feed.

The Crunch, though, went back up 22 seconds later as George Fernandez connected from 50 feet away.

Only 55 seconds later Fraser got his second of the night off a Domenic Mobilio pass at the end of a three-on-two counter attack.

Baltimore went up 4-3 with just 12 seconds left in the quarter when Castro got a power play goal (Cleveland's Chico Moreira was off for ungentlemanly conduct). Mobilio got the assist.

The Blast's penalty killers then did the job again as they wiped put a handball call on Powers that carried over into the final quarter.

However, just 34 seconds after the penalty was over Karic had a shot go off a Baltimore defender into the net.


Cleveland then finally took advantage of man-advantage situations to win the game.

NOTES: The Blast's record 5-game winning streak came in the 1984-85 season between Dec. 16, 1984 and Jan. 12, 1985. The team has had only one other 4-game win skein before the current one. M Mike Stankovic had the game-winning goal to begin the streak. . . . Baltimore faces first-place Wichita (8-4) tonight at the Baltimore Arena at 7:35 p.m. Stankovic's will play his 300th game as member of the Blast. Only Tim Wittman (365) and Bruce Savage (347) have played in more.