ST. LOUIS - The Blast ran into a buzz saw last night.
The St. Louis Steamers didn't miss a beat against the Blast, working hard the entire game and combining with some missed Blast scoring chances in the first half to defeat the Blast, 6-3.
"They worked hard again," said Blast coach Tim Wittman, referring to an earlier meeting with the Steamers. "You just have to keep on playing and try and get out of the hole."
The Blast (6-9) tried to get back into the game in the fourth quarter when it pulled goalie Sagu with 5:33 remaining, trailing 6-2. With a man advantage, Giuliano Celenza beat goalie Brett Phillips to cut the lead to 6-3.
Celeneza had two scoring chances minutes later, but Phillips managed to get a hand on both shots.
"Brett played unbelievable, like he always does," said Blast forward Lee Tschantret. "We were our own worst enemy tonight. They worked very hard and took it to us. We're trying to work through this right now. We're going through a tough time."
The Steamers' offense rolled in the third quarter as St. Louis led 6-2.
Ibrahim Kante scored at 9:39 for a 4-1 lead and Aaron Susi scored at 10:07 from just inside the yellow line. Chile Farias countered with a blast from the yellow line at 10:50 to cut the lead to 5-2. But Mike Apple scored his second of the game at 13:13 on the power play. Sagu stopped the shootout attempt from Kante.
St. Louis started turning scoring chances into goals in the second quarter and the result was a 3-1 lead. Shaun David gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 4:18 with some hard work, winning the ball from Billy Nelson and beating Sagu to the upper right corner.
Celeneza tied it for the Blast just eight seconds later on a pass from Tschantret. James Elmore put St. Louis in front at 5:41 when he beat Sagu to the far post. Apple made it 3-1 at 6:23 when he scored to the near post.
Both teams had numerous scoring chances in the first quarter but neither could convert.
Machel Millwood had the best opportunity for the Blast when he was stopped by Phillips from just outside the arc in the final minute of play. Elmore and Kante both missed open nets from inside the arc for St. Louis.
Blast 0 1 1 1 - 3
St. Louis 0 3 3 0 - 6
Second quarter: 1. St. Louis, David (Apple), 1pt., 4:18; 2. Blast, Celenza (Tschantret), 1 pt., 4:26; 3. St. Louis, Elmore (Phillips), 1pt., 5:41; 4. St. Louis, Apple, 1pt., 6:23. Penalties: None. Third quarter: 5. St. Louis, Kante (Wescott), 1pt., 9:39; 6. St. Louis, Susi (Wescott), 10:07; 7. Blast, Farias, 1pt., 10:50; 8. St. Louis, Apple (Reiniger), 1pt., 13:13. Penalties: Blast, Eller (tripping), 12:01; Blast, Tschantret (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:13; St. Louis, Kante (tripping), 14:34. Fourth quarter: 9. Blast, Celenza (Farias), 1pt., 9:41. Penalties: St. Louis, Doran (dissent), 3:28. Shots on goal: Blast 6-7-7-9-29; St. Louis 3-6-8-5-22. Power plays: Blast 0-1; St. Louis 1-1. A: 2,734.