Wings silence Thunder, soar to 25-9 victory


PHILADELPHIA -- The Baltimore Thunder rolled into The Spectrum last night looking to earn respect in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.

What the Thunder found was a Philadelphia Wings team that was unwilling to give them any.

The Wings opened a 9-2 lead in the first quarter en route to a 25-9 victory over the 0-4 Thunder in front of 13,483 fans. The 16 goals that separated the squads was the widest margin of victory in Philadelphia's eight-year history, eclipsing the Wings' biggest previous blowout, 23-9 against the Thunder last year at the Baltimore Arena.

Baltimore won't have to wait long to try to get revenge, with the Wings scheduled to visit the Thunder at the Arena Saturday at 8 p.m.

"When you dig yourself into a 9-2 hole in the first quarter against a team like this, it's hard to try to come back," Thunder coach Skip Lichtfuss said. "They didn't miss too many shots, and that made a big difference."

The Thunder, which recently lost John Tucker to a shoulder injury, also was without defensive catalyst Dave Pietramala, who was sick.

"Not having Dave tonight really hurt us," Lichtfuss said. "He's a team leader and a big part of our defense. That's not an excuse. That's a fact."

Tom Marechek and the Gait brothers, Paul and Gary, scored three goals and had three assists apiece. Lindsay Dixon and Jeff Jackson led Baltimore with two goals and two assists each.

Baltimore struck first, as it has in all of its games, when Paul Cantabene scored after 1:51 on assists from Jeff Wills and Bill Dirrigl.

The Wings took a 3-1 lead after goals by Paul Denniken and Gary Gait.

After Dixon scored his sixth goal, Philadelphia scored 10 straight goals for a 13-2 lead with 6:32 remaining in the first half.

Jackson ended a 16-minute scoring drought for the Thunder, but the Wings held a 14-3 halftime lead after John Nostrant scored on a feed from John Conley (Fallston, Towson State).

The Wings (2-1), who lost their first game last week against the two-time defending MILL champion Buffalo Bandits, opened the second half with two goals that completed hat tricks for Marechek and Gary Gait.

With Philadelphia leading 18-3, Baltimore got one back on an unassisted goal by Tim Hormes, and Rick Fried added another on an assist by Wills, but the Wings took a 21-5 lead into the fourth quarter.

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