Baltimore Blast advance to Eastern Conference Finals

by Steve Cooke

Harrisburg, PA (March 15, 2017) - The Baltimore Blast traveled to Harrisburg on Wednesday night to decide who would move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Down 1-0 in the series the Blast were able to defeat the Heat in game two 7-4 and then win the mini game 4-1 to advance. 

The game got off to a fast start with five goals recorded in the opening quarter. The Heat started the game recording back to back goals from Lucio Gonzaga and Fernando Gatica. The Blast would answer with back to back goal of their own. Lucas Roque recorded his 7th goal of the season and his first of the postseason off an assist from Pat Healey followed by Juan Pereira tying the game at 2 off an assist from Vini Dantas. Before time expired the Heat would strike one more time as Tom Mellor put the Heat back on top. At the end of the first Harrisburg led 3-2.

The Blast would use the second quarter to regain the led with goals in the first minute and the last minute. Daniel Peruzzi recorded the game tying goal off of an assist from Tony Donatelli, who led the team in assists during the regular season. With :20 seconds left in the half Pat Healey was able to come up with a steal and scored a short handed goal to give the Blast their first lead of the night. At the half the Blast led 4-3. 

Only one goal was recorded in the third quarter. At the 8:04 mark Brad Kerstetter found the back of the net for the Heat tying the game at 4. Both teams picked up the intensity entering the final quarter. 

The Blast offense came to life in the final quarter. The Blast took the lead quickly in the fourth quarter when Andrew Hoxie found the back of the net of an assist from Pat Healey. Danial Peruzzi followed that up with his second goal of the game to push the Blast lead to 6-4. Peruizzi’s goal was assisted by Vini Dantas which was his second assist of the postseason. At the 8:29 mark the Blast would strike for their third consecutive goal when Adriano Dos Santos found the back of the net. The Blast defense held the Heat scoreless in the quarter. At the final buzzer the Blast defeated the Heat 7-4 forcing the mini game to decide the division champion. 

In the mini game the Blast struck first when Juan Perieira was able to beat a defender and find the back of the net. The Heat would answer when Chile Farias scored a goal assisted by David Mellor. The Blast wold answer when Andrew Hoxie recorded a goal and then after a Heat penalty Tony Donatelli was able to convert a shoot out attempt pushing the Blast lead to 3-1. The nail in the coffin would come from Jonatas Melo when he scored the 4th goal of the mini game assisted by Vine Dantas. In an extremely physical game William Vanzela, Pat Healey, and Adriano Dos Santos battled to lead the Blast defense. 

The Blast were led in game two by Daniel Peruzi who recorded two goals, Tony Donatelli who recorded two assists, Pat Healey who recorded a goal and two assists, and Lucas Roque who recorded a goal and an assist.  Vini Dantas who recorded a goal and an assist on the night. 

The Blast will take on the Milwaukee Wave in the Conference Finals. Game one will be played in Baltimore Saturday, March 17th at 7:05 p.m. from the Royal Farms Arena. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. through all TicketMaster locations.