A shootout goal by Denison Cabral, his third of the evening, gave the Blast an 11-10 overtime victory over the Edmonton Drillers last night and ended a two-game losing streak.
On its first foray in the extra session at the Baltimore Arena, Edmondson defender Chris Handsor was called for tripping Franklin McIntosh, the penalty setting up Cabral's shootout attempt.
As usual, he moved straight in before starting his fancy footwork and drawing Drillers goalie Pat Onstad off his feet before moving right and angling the ball into the net.
"Everybody tells me they know I'm going right," Cabral said of his patented move that has resulted in a dozen shootout goals, "but I have a lot of confidence that my fakes will keep them coming at me straight until they have to go down."
Besides, not too long ago, Cabral, who now has 46 goals in 26 games and four hat tricks, moved left in a shootout and scored. And, Friday night in Montreal, he chipped over the advancing goalie's head only to hit the crossbar, missing the goal by about an inch.
If the tripping call on Handsor seemed unjustified considering the situation (overtime), perhaps it wasn't, according to Blast coach Kevin Healey.
"In that situation," he said, "the official often takes into consideration who the foul is being committed against.
"When it's a player as good as McIntosh, that carries a lot of weight. Franklin was moving around the man and was about to beat him and he had Tarik Walker breaking free on his right when he got hauled down. It might have been a goal, anyway."
It was the Blast's third overtime victory of the season and, combined with Philadelphia's loss in Detroit yesterday, made the East Division standings even closer, if possible.
Philadelphia (10-13) is now in last place after being in first a week ago, while the Blast (12-15) is a half-game behind Florida and Harrisburg, which are tied at the top with 12-14 records.
A goal by Edmonton's Todd Rattee, set up by Nikola Vignjevic, his third assist of the game, squared the match at 4: 26 of the fourth quarter.
Caution was the byword through the first 30 minutes, the teams unwilling to take a chance to score lest it blow up in their faces.
Finally, with just 1 1/2 minutes remaining in the first period, Al Valente scored for the Drillers (16-10) from in close. The Blast caught the mood and, after a penalty put on a power play, Cabral tied the score with shootout and power play one-pointers.
It was soon back to conservative fare, however, and the lone score in the second quarter was a restart goal by Domenic Mobilio, who spent his youth as a player with the original Blast.
Mobilio was right back at it a minute into the third period, giving his team a 6-2 advantage off a feed by Vignjevic.
At the five-minute mark, the teams, apparently tired of sparring, set out to work on their offensive skills and they and the crowd of 5,853 came alive.
After a pair of goals by Jason Dieter -- Doug Neely assisting on both -- Vignjevic scored for the visitors before Tarik Walker gave the Blast a tie at 8.
Edmonton 2 2 4 2 0 -- 10
Blast 2 0 8 0 1 -- 11
First quarter--1. Edmonton, Valente, 2 pt. (Nash), 13: 30; 2. Blast, Cabral, 1 pt. (shootout), 14: 00; 3. Blast, Cabral, 1 pt. (Neely), 14: 35pp. Penalties--Handsor, Edmonton (tripping), 14: 00.
Second quarter--4. Edmonton, Mobilio, 2 pt. (Vignjevic), 5: 56. Penalties--None.
Third quarter--5. Edmonton, Mobilio, 2 pt. (Vignjevic), 1: 06; 6. Blast, Dieter, 2 pt. (Neely) 5: 00; 7. Edmonton, Vignjevic, 2 pt. (un.), 7: 02; 8. Blast, Dieter, 2 pt. (Neely), 7: 14; 9. Blast, Walker, 2 pt. (McIntosh), 8: 55; 10. Blast, Johnson, 2 pt. (McIntosh), 12: 29sh. Penalties--Cabral, Blast (tripping), 11: 08.
Fourth quarter--11. Edmonton, Rattee, 2 pt. (Vignjevic), 4: 26. Penalties--None.
Overtime--12. Blast, Cabral, 1 pt. (shootout), : 38. Penalties-- Handsor, Edmonton (tripping), : 38.
Shots on goal--Edmonton 7-13-5-9-1--35; Blast 8-6-9-10-1--34. Power-play opportunities--Edmonton 0-of-1; Blast 1-of-1. Goalies--Onstad (16-8) 19 shots, 12 saves; Azmi (9-8) 21 shots, 16 saves. A--5,853.
Pub Date: 2/14/99