Khalil Azmi did not have one of his finest nights in goal for the Blast last night.
Even if his wanderlust wasn't as evident as it often is, the Blast goalkeeper was caught going one way as a Kansas City shot was headed in another, and the Attack routed the Blast, 21-12.
A huge 12-point third period by the Attack did in the Blast (9-13). The visitors (10-12) scored on five of eight attempts, two of them three-pointers. All told, Azmi faced 19 shots during the game, and 10 of them made it into the net.
"We gave up way too many points in the third period. It was ridiculous," said Blast coach Kevin Healey. "We have to have a commitment to win a ballgame, and that means playing 60 minutes.
"We can't keep relying on comebacks. We have to take command, like we did early, and keep pushing. We have to put a game like that away on our home field."
The weak second half by the Blast spoiled a strong effort in the first 30 minutes, when a hat trick by Denison Cabral put the home team ahead 8-6.
Last week, Azmi was positively brilliant against the Attack in St. Louis. "But this goes along with what seems to happen all the time in this league," said K.C. coach Zoran Savic. "Sometimes a guy stops everything sent his way, then ."
After a slow start, Jon Parry of K.C. registered a cycle, which consists of a three-point, a two-point and a one-point goal, plus at least one assist (he had a pair). Matching Parry's eight points was Kevin Koetters, who had a hat trick in the first 25 minutes, then chipped in a couple of assists later.
The Blast won't have a whole lot of time to commiserate over this one, as early this morning the gang will be at the airport looking to get to St. Louis for a 2 o'clock game this afternoon.
Before intermission, the Blast had a decided edge in field position, time of possession and scoring opportunities. If it weren't for Attack veteran Kevin Koetters, K.C. might have been out of it by midway in the second quarter.
The home team grabbed a 5-2 lead after 15 minutes, Cabral's first goal equaling Koetters' two-pointer at the outset, then Doug Neely hitting a three-pointer at the 12-minute mark.
K.C. took just a couple of minutes to move on top in the third quarter, Parry hitting a three-pointer after just 22 seconds and Justin Cottrell matching the feat about three minutes later.
Franklin McIntosh's goal blunted the Attack for a short spell. But the visitors were back pronto, Jeff Davis, Goran Hunjak and Parry belting the ball by a shellshocked Azmi. Including Jason Dieter's goal, the Blast trailed, 18-12, after three quarters.
NOTES: Blast T-shirt night resulted in a crowd of 6,192. The Blast will be without defender Troy Snyder (strained calf) until Feb. 9. The game in Montreal next week has been switched from Friday to Thursday night (7: 05).
Cleveland's gold dust twins Hector Marinaro and Zoran Karic have dominated scoring in the NPSL since the 1992-93 season. That has changed. Ken Snow of St. Louis been right there with the Crunch gunners since October, and Doug Miller of Buffalo is now in the picture.
Snow (107) and Miller (102) top the list, with Marinaro at 97 and Karic fourth at 95. The Philadelphia Kixx, 9-0 at the Spectrum this season, own the league's longest win streak at home with a dozen. Philly leads the league in home attendance with a per game average of 9,064. St. Louis is second with 8,536. Baltimore is 10th among the 13 teams, averaging 4,620 through 11 games.
Kansas City 2 4 12 3 -- 21
Blast 5 3 4 0 -- 12
First quarter -- 1. K.C., Koetters, 2 pt. (Wade), 2: 53; 2. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt. (Simmons), 6: 34; 3. Blast, Neely, 3 pt. (Walker), 12: 09. Penalties -- None.
Second quarter -- 4. K.C., Koetters, 2 pt. (penalty kick), 3: 19; 5. Blast, Cabral, 2 pt. (McIntosh), 5: 30; 6. Blast, Cabral, 1 pt. (shootout), 6: 01; 7. K.C., Koetters, 2 pt. (Parry), 10: 13. Penalties -- Neely, Blast (intentional hand ball), 3: 19; Davis, K.C. (dangerous play), 6: 01.
Third quarter -- 8. K.C., Parry, 3 pt. (Koetters), : 22; 9. K.C., Cottrell, 3 pt. (Hunjak), 3: 36; 10. Blast, McIntosh, 2 pt. (Hicks), 6: 11; 11. K.C., Davis, 2 pt. (Parry), 8: 27; 12. K.C., Hunjak, 2 pt. (Eade), 9: 41; 13. Blast, Dieter, 2 pt. (McIntosh), 10: 03; 14. K.C., Parry, 2 pt. (Koetters), 12: 40. Penalties -- None.
Fourth quarter -- 15. K.C., Hunjak, 2 pt. (un.), 10: 13; 16. K.C., Parry, 1 pt. (shootout), 12: 19. Penalties -- Koetters, K.C. (tripping), 6: 46; Blast bench (too many on field), 11: 23; Dieter, Blast (holding), 12: 19.
Shots on goal: K.C. 4-7-11-5-27; Blast 7-11-9-1-28. Power-play opportunities: Kansas City 0-of-2; Blast 0-of-2. Goalies: Westcoat (7-10) 17 shots, 11 saves; Azmi (6-6) 19 shots, 9 saves. A: 6,192.
Opponent: St. Louis Ambush
Site: Kiel Center, St. Louis
Time: 2: 05 p.m.
Radio: WJFK (1300 AM)
Outlook: The Ambush (14-10) has a solid three-game lead in the Midwest Division and features the league's top scorer, Ken Snow (107 points), the No. 5 man, Joe Reiniger (91), and, in goal, long-time standout Jamie Swanner (10-4). The Blast is just 2-8 in road games while St. Louis boasts an 8-2 record at home.
Pub Date: 1/30/99