Not only did the team ride a prodigious 11-point game by Denison Cabral to a win over Milwaukee last night, but the opening game also sapped the Wave of some key personnel for when the teams meet in Game 2 on Sunday in Wisconsin.
After trailing by two points entering a volatile final quarter, the Blast scored seven closing points and won, 13-8, at 1st Mariner Arena. Troy Dusosky, a key component of the Wave's team, exploded with anger as he left the field after drawing a red card in a confrontation with Blast goalie Sagu in the waning minutes.
That means he will not be allowed to play in the second game, joining injured brother Todd and possibly one of the league's young stars, Marcio Leite, on the sideline. Leite went down with a sprained left ankle after scoring the tying goal in the third period.
"This is very good for us," Sagu said of the Milwaukee misfortunes. "All the time when we go out there, it's a tough game."
Sagu said Dusosky "came to me and try to intimidate me, stepping on my feet. I pushed him away and he came and hit me in the face." That's when the official raised the red card and Dusosky stalked off the field, banging doors with his fist.
"You can't do that in these types of games," Blast coach Danny Kelly said of Dusosky's actions. "If you strike someone and you're caught, you're done."
After a brilliant goal by Greg Howes gave the Wave an 8-6 edge in the waning minutes of the third quarter, Cabral knocked in his only three-point goal when Milwaukee goalie Nick Vorberg failed to clear the ball. Only 24 seconds later, Vorberg was called for a hand ball and drew a penalty, and Cabral scored his second shootout goal of the night, beating a frustrated Dusosky, who replaced Vorberg in goal.
"I didn't do anything differently than the other guys," said Cabral, the Blast's all-time leading scorer. "I was in the right place at the right time. The things I practice, I expect to finish when I get the chances. I'm pretty focused."
Kelly said: "The team showed a lot of character. Things weren't going our way. But we found a way to win. I didn't think we played our best game, but we're one step closer to the finals."
Milwaukee is 0-4 in postseason games in Baltimore and 3-8 against the Blast overall.
Milwaukee 2 2 4 0 -- 8
Blast 4 2 0 7 -- 13
First quarter: 1. Milwaukee, Wiesner (Howes), 2:45; 2. Blast, Cabral, 10:23; 3. Blast, Cabral, 13:20. Penalties: B, Neto, 8:13; M, Vorberg, 10:22; M, Howes, 13:16; M, coach Tozer (dissent), 13:16. Second quarter: 4. Milwaukee, Howes, 6:34; 5. Blast, Gonzaga (Cabral), 14:05. Penalties: M, too many men, Leite serving, 3:29. Third quarter: 6. Milwaukee, Leite (Bullen), 3:41; 7. Milwaukee, Howes, 14:17. Fourth quarter: 8. Blast, Cabral (3 pt. goal), 6:15; 9. Blast, Cabral, 6:38; 10. Blast, Pierce (Cabral), 8:38. Penalties: M, Vorberg, 6:35; M. Dusosky, 13:36 (ejected). A: 3,114.