When Milwaukee scored a three-pointer last night with just 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to take a 11-8 lead, the outlook for the Blast appeared worse than hopeless.
Then Franklin "The Magician" McIntosh dug into his bag of tricks and, on a restart, chipped a three-pointer over the head of the league's best goalie, Victor Nogueira.
McIntosh wasn't done. Lining up at the Baltimore Arena for another restart after Milwaukee had dominated the first minute of overtime, Franklin ricocheted a shot off a Wave defender from far outside for a 14-11 triumph.
"Nogueira's the best, and it looked hopeless," McIntosh said of his tying goal with five seconds remaining in regulation. "I told Ronnie Simmons I had an idea. There was no time for a pass, and Nogueira did the right thing coming out."
Instead of a thunderbolt, though, McIntosh deftly chipped the ball up in the air. It cleared Nogueira and just tucked in under the crossbar.
"If it didn't go in," McIntosh said, "I probably would have been booed out of the arena.
"In overtime, Milwaukee had three or four quick shots and we had nothing. But that's the way it goes a lot of the time, the team that's down goes down and scores."
Until the pyrotechnics at the end, it was a controlled game, with the teams matching each other until the last minute.
The last thing the Blast (7-10) needed early in the first match of a three-game weekend was to lose a goalkeeper. But that's what happened when starter Brett Phillips broke a finger on his right hand midway through the second quarter.
Replacement Khalil Azmi was equal to the task until the last minute. He made one several forays out of the net -- and this one cost him. Erik White of the Wave (12-7) scored for a 11-8 lead.
Also injured during the game was Blast attacker Danny Kelly, who hurt a leg and tried to come back a couple of times but couldn't make it. Both he and Phillips could be unavailable for tonight's game against Detroit.
Milwaukee continued to outshoot the Blast in the third period, raising its shots-on-goal advantage to 29-16. There wasn't an appreciable difference in the number of good scoring opportunities, though.
In fact, the home team probably should have converted a 3-on-1 breakaway. Another time, Tarik Walker raced deep with one man to beat but was thwarted.
Cabral was the story for the Blast in a tight first half, scoring the initial goal, then, after the Wave had moved ahead, scoring and setting up one-point goals to even the count at 4-4.
Cabral's opening goal was his 22nd, highest for the Blast this season.
NOTES: Milwaukee is 9-4 lifetime vs. Baltimore. The Wave has two starters in the NPSL All-Star Game in Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday: goalie Victor Nogueira and forward Michael King. Danny Kelly is the Blast representative. Blast T-shirt night is Jan. 29, when the Kansas City Attack comes to town.
Milwaukee 2 2 4 3 0 -- 11
Blast 2 2 4 3 3 -- 14
Opponent: Detroit Rockers
Site: Baltimore Arena
Time: 7: 35 TV/Radio: HTS/WJFK (1300 AM)
Outlook: The Rockers (6-13) have lost 10 of their past 11 games, most of them in the late going. The skid started when the team lost three games in three days by a total of four points. Former Spirit standout Bo Vuckovic visits for the first time since he was traded at the end of last season. Pub Date: 1/16/99