by Steve Cooke

The Baltimore Blast hosted the Milwaukee Wave in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. In a high intensity playoff matchup the Blast were able to defeat the Wave 8-7 in overtime. 

The game got off to a fast start with both teams exchanging a pair of goals. Daniel Peruzzi got the scoring started for the Blast with his 3rd goal of the postseason. For Milwaukee, Ian Bennett recorded the first Wave goal of the game assisted by Tenzin Rampa. The Blast would answer when Andrew Hoxie finished a great chance set up by Geaton Caltabiano. Before time expired in the opening quarter Drew Ruggles found the back of the net for the Wave with an assist from Daniel Mattos. At the end of the first the game was tied at 2.

In the second quarter the Wave broke the tie when Robert Renaud recorded a goal off an assist from Andre Hayne. The Blast would answer at the 7:28 mark when Tony Donatelli recorded his 3rd goal of the postseason off of Pat Healey’s 3rd assist. Before the half the Wave would record back to back goals to regain the lead. Ian Bennett recorded his second goal of the game assisted by Drew Ruggles and then Marcio Leite found the back of the net off of Tenzin Rampa’s second assist. At the half the Wave led 5-3. 

The Wave would score the first goal of the second half when Max Ferdinand converted a top of the box opportunity but the Blast offense would come alive with three consecutive goals. Vini Dantas started the comeback with his 2nd goal of the postseason off of the second assist of the game for Pat Healey. Juan Periera added his 4th playoff goal off an assist from Andrew Hoxie and with under a minute remaining in the quarter Adriano Dos Santos found the back of the net of an assist from Vini Dantas during a Blast power play. Entering the final quarter the game was tied at 6. 

It took only :19 seconds into the final quarter for the Blast to strike for their fourth consecutive goal. Vini Dantas recorded his second goal of the game off an assist from Juan Pereira to put the Blast on top. The Blast defense held the Wave scoreless through the majority of the period but with 1:07 left in the game Max Ferdinand was able to break free and tie the game at 7 with his 2nd goal of the game. At the final buzzer the game was tied at 7 forcing a golden goal overtime. 

The Blast came out in overtime and found the back of the net in :48 seconds. Vini Dantas set up Jonatas Melo for the game winner as the Blast were victorious 8-7. 

The Blast were led in game two Vini Dantas who recorded two goals and two assists and Jonatas Melo who recorded one assist and two goals including the game winner in overtime. Goalkeeper, William Vanzela, recorded 12 saves in the victory. 

The Blast travel to Milwaukee on Tuesday for game two and a potential mini game. Kickoff is at 7:35 p.m. EST from the UW Milwaukee Panther Arena. 

Photo Credit: Baltimore Blast / David Ripetto