Maximilian Stevens | harrisburgheat.com
Harrisburg’s hopes to make a run at the Eastern Division Crown took a hit as the Heat dropped a 5-2 decision to the MASL defending champion Baltimore Blast in Charm City Saturday night, but their playoff hopes still remain on solid ground.
The Blast rode 3 even strength goals in the second half to send the Heat to a 4-6 record while improving themselves to 8-3. With a win Harrisburg would have only been a game behind in the loss column with a game in hand.
Jereme Raley, Lucas Roque (2nd of the game), and Jonatas Melo recorded second half tallies to ice the win for the Blast.
Jose Birche cut the Baltimore lead in half in the 3rd period making it 2-1 to open the second half scoring.
No scoring in the 1st period, but Baltimore put two power play goals on the board in the 2nd from Lucas Roque and Vinni Dantas to lead 2-0 at the half as blue cards were shown to Cuba Perez and Val Teixeira.
It was a bit of a chippy game demonstrating the rivalry between the two clubs. Both teams came to the center of the field pushing and shoving after Roque’s first goal resulting in Baltimore Keeper William Vanzela lying on the field in pain after drawing a blue card and Harrisburg being issued it’s 3rd blue card of the period and the match as Elmo Neto headed to the box. Both teams came to the center of field again in the post game to exchange words as well.
The Blast possessed the ball well during the game limiting Harrisburg to 15 shots while keeper William Vanzela stopped 13 of them. Harrisburg goalie Hugo Silva was brilliant at times stopping 20 of 25 Baltimore shots.
Dom Francis scored late for the Heat in final frame to cut the Blast lead to 3.
With half of their season still to play, the Heat trails Syracuse by one in the loss column for second place and Harrisburg has 6 losses versus 7 for Florida. The Heat presently trail Florida by percentage points, but hold two games in hand.