In less than four minutes late in the third period and early in the fourth, the Blast hammered home four goals last night and, for a change, enjoyed a laugher over the Wichita Wings, 24-14.
A ball night crowd of 6,544 at the Baltimore Arena sat in stunned amazement as the Blast ran up its highest point total of the season. Mostly, though, Blast fans were not accustomed to the ease with which the points came.
The victory, combined with Harrisburg's 10-9 victory over Philadelphia, boosted the Blast (14-16) back to within a game of the division-leading Kixx (14-14).
Ahead 14-12 starting the fourth quarter, the home team turned a close game into a rout when Franklin McIntosh, Mark Thomas and Denison Cabral scored goals in the first three minutes.
Tarik Walker led Baltimore's scoring parade with seven points. Cabral and Thomas contributed five points apiece.
In his three games with the Blast, Thomas has had a hat trick and a terrific floor game to go with last night's pair of goals and assist.
"Coming in and being a veteran, you know quite a bit about your new teammates from having played against them. That speeds the process," Thomas said.
"From this point on, it's just a question of getting the timing down. And talking with the guys and finding out how you can fit in with them better."
Judging from a play the Blast's newest forward made early last night, Thomas is fitting in nicely.
The score was tied, 4-4, when Thomas blocked a pass with his face and recovered as he pushed the ball downfield. With a defender and goalie scurrying back, he shot and hit the post with a shot.
Discouraged? Hardly. Thomas gained control of the ball and sent a centering pass through the crease where Danny Santoro tapped it in.
The Blast got off to a strong start. Jason Dieter scored from the top of the arc after seven minutes, and Walker made it 4-0 about a minute later.
The Wings erased their deficit with a goal late in the period and shootout and power play one-pointers early in the second session.
Danny Santoro gave the home team another lead on a fine hustling setup play by Thomas, but the Wings scored the last two goals of the quarter to hit the intermission with an 8-6 advantage.
Cabral immediately squared the match at 8 when play resumed before Timmy Murtagh put Wichita on top again with an unassisted goal 90 seconds later.
NOTES: Tomorrow's game against Buffalo (3: 05 p.m.) is Beanies for Babies Day, proceeds from a raffle going to Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The first 3,000 kids get a Ty Beanie Baby. The Blast handed out 3,000 soccer balls before the game.
Wichita 2 6 4 2 -- 14
Blast 4 2 8 10 -- 24