For his display of legerdemain in the waning moments of a game against the Milwaukee Wave last Friday, Franklin McIntosh has been named NPSL Player of the Week.
Return with us now to the situation in which the Blast trailed the Wave, 11-8, with five seconds left. The Blast had a restart kick from the top of the three-point arc.
"I said, 'Let's let Ronnie Simmons hammer away at the ball and hope for the best. It had to be a three-pointer.' " said coach Kevin Healey. Once out on the field, however, McIntosh approached Simmons and said, "I'll take it; I have an idea." The idea was brilliant if it could be carried out.
As McIntosh approached the ball, Victor Nogueira, the best goalkeeper in the league, wandered out from his goal too far. Deftly, McIntosh lifted a soft lob over his head and into the goal just under the crossbar. The game was tied.
A little over a minute later, in overtime, McIntosh finished the job, this time smoking a three-pointer off a Milwaukee defender and past Nogueira, who lost for the second time in 12 decisions.
The next night, against Detroit, also at the Baltimore Arena, McIntosh was back at it in the late going. With his team trailing 6-5 entering the fourth quarter, he got the goal that put the Blast ahead for the first time since early in the game. After the Rockers scored a pair of three-pointers for a 12-7 lead, McIntosh got the goal that made the score 12-11 and set up a winning tally by Denison Cabral.
Around the league
Goalies have been going bonkers lately, both Doug Petras of Harrisburg and Paolo Ceccarelli of Montreal scoring goals in addition to doing yeoman work in the nets. Petras stopped 30 of 32 shots sent his way by Edmonton before making a field-length heave into an unguarded goal. Ceccarelli did likewise while besting Milwaukee, 15-4.
Meanwhile, at the end of a Philadelphia-St. Louis game at the Spectrum, Kixx goalie Peter Pappas got a standing "O" from a crowd of 8,400 when he made a diving save with 13 seconds remaining to preserve a 19-18 victory.
Conversely, in his first return to Edmonton after fleeing the chill of the Western Canada prairies for Florida, goalie Scott Hileman saw five of the Drillers' first six shots careen by him. Imagine the fun local fans had with that.
Erik Rasmussen went for the cycle (one-, two- and three-point goals and an assist) in Wichita's 10th consecutive win over Kansas City. It was the second cycle this season, Kevin Sloan doing it for Philadelphia against Harrisburg Jan. 9. Speaking of Philadelphia, the Kixx continues its enigmatic ways with an 8-0 record at home and a 1-8 mark on the road. Wave coach Keith Tozer picked up his 300th NPSL win recently. No other coach in league history is close to 200 victories.
Before beating Milwaukee in overtime, 14-11, last weekend, a Baltimore franchise hadn't won in OT since March 9, 1997. With the injuries to Danny Kelly, Todd Hicks, Brad Smith and Joe Barger, the Blast has activated forward Mark Southern, who has been working out with the club all season. Milwaukee was making a "boat race" of the Central Division with an 11-3 record before a 2-5 road trip cut their lead to 2 1/2 games over Cleveland and Montreal.
Harrisburg's Bill Becher's consecutive-games streak of 275 was broken at home last weekend after he injured a leg in Edmonton.
Opponent: Harrisburg Heat
Site: State Farm Show Arena, Harrisburg, Pa.
Time: 7: 35 Radio: WJFK (1300 AM)
Outlook: The Blast (8-11) is not well-manned in the battle to flee last place in the East Division against rival Harrisburg (8-11). Danny Kelly (stress fracture) and Joe Barger (ruptured Achilles' tendon) join Brett Phillips (broken finger), Brad Smith (torn ligament), Lance Johnson (broken foot) and Todd Hicks (ankle sprain) on the injured list, and the Blast is seeking bodies. The Heat leads the season series 2-1. Pub Date: 1/22/99