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Blast's win streak ends at 4 with 24-6 pasting; 3rd game in 3 days began with late arrival in Buffalo


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It was nice while it lasted. That's what can be said about the Blast's four-game winning streak, which was halted last night with a 24-6 loss to the Buffalo Blizzard before a Marine Midland Arena crowd of 4,687.

Leg-weary from playing its third game in as many nights, the Blast didn't arrive in Buffalo until four hours before game time. The team was running on fumes, and it resulted in its most lopsided defeat of the season.

"It's tough to play three games in three nights," said Baltimore coach Kevin Healey. "But everybody in the league has to do it, so you go with it."

Defeat became a given when the Blast was outscored 14-0 in a 10-minute stretch in the second half. But it became costly when defender Joe Barger suffered an Achilles' tendon injury with two minutes left in the game.

Barger, who scored the first Baltimore goal, was hurt while trying to make a play in front of the Blast net when his left leg buckled without any contact. In the middle of a 15-day contract, the ex-Bay may be lost for the season.

Barger gave the Blast a 2-0 lead.

Playing in his fourth game, Barger took Denison Cabral's lead pass near the top of the arc, then squeezed his drive inside the right post. It was the second of just three Baltimore shots in the period.

Blast goalie Dave Tenney, making his second start of the season, made several early key saves, including a snare of Danny Barber's eye-high blast at the 10: 00 mark.

However, Barber got even when he picked up Jeff Alacala's rebound off the back boards and beat Tenney with a 10-foot header.

Andrew Crawford -- one of four Buffalo players to score twice -- gave the Blizzard a 4-2 lead 20 seconds into the second quarter. But that was countered at 8: 07 by Shane Dougherty, who took advantage of a Buffalo miscue to notch his fifth goal of the season.

From that point on, however, it was all Buffalo, which outshot the Blast 14-3 in the period and got three more scores before halftime to take a 10-4 lead.

"We tried to keep it close," said Dougherty, "but we didn't have enough energy to make that final push. They got some goals, and the rest just kind of took care of itself."

Blast 2 2 2 0 -- 6

Buffalo 2 8 6 8 -- 24

Pub Date: 1/18/99

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