With four unanswered goals in the first quarter Saturday night, the Blast sent a clear message to the visiting Syracuse Silver Knights: Things aren't going to change this time.
Baltimore has dominated Syracuse since the Silver Knights began play in 2011, including wins in all four meetings last season, and the Blast immediately picked up where it left off with an overwhelming first quarter that led to a 6-0 win in front of an announced 4,140 at Royal Farms Arena.
Vini Dantas and Lucas Roque each scored two goals to lead the offense, and fourth-year goalie William Vanzela made seven saves on his own T-shirt night to pick up his seventh career shutout. Dantas now has four goals and two assists through two games.
Vanzela is pleased to see the Blast playing well with so many new faces this season.
"I think for as young we are with so many rookie players, we're doing better and I'm really glad we're working to get better every game," he said. "We did an amazing job today. We shut them out and it was amazing what my teammates did in front of me."
The Blast, which now leads the all-time series against the Silver Knights by a 16-3 count, improved to 2-0 on the season and will next cap a season-opening three-game homestand by hosting the Detroit Waza Flo on Saturday at 7:35 p.m.
"We're looking forward to these three home games to make it three wins — that would be huge for us," Vanzela said. "Everybody is thinking we have so many young guys, [wondering] how we are looking and we'd send a message that we're as good as last year."
The home team was precise on set pieces and outworked the Silver Knights in key moments to build the early advantage that was never threatened.
On free kicks in the visitors' end, captain Pat Healey found Adriano Dos Santos for a 1-0 lead less than three minutes into play and connected with Roque late in the quarter to close out the scoring.
In between, Juan Pereira dug out a ball in the corner to find Andrew Hoxie in front for a goal and Dantas scored when he pressured Silver Knights goalie Matthew Perrella into a hurried clear that ended up in the goal.