Jeremy Gottsch | harrisburgheat.com
The Harrisburg Heat won big tonight as they avenged their previous loss to the Baltimore Blast in the season opener. The win is the first victory Harrisburg has seen over the Baltimore in over 14 years. The energy was in the air with everyone on their feet as the final seconds wound down with Harrisburg winning by a final score of 7-4. The Heat did not disappoint the over 1600 fans in attendance. Notably, Heat goal keeper Hugo DaSilva made numerous saves that helped seal the victory. Ricardo Carvalho led the offensive attack as he registered two goals.
The opening goal was scored by former Blast striker turned Heat point leader, Lucio Gonzaga with 4:38 to play in the 1stperiod. Baltimore goalie, William Vanzela was looking to pass to his teammate, but Gonzaga intercepted the pass and scored an open net goal. Gonzaga now has 8 goals on the year and a total of 10 points.
Thomas Mellor gave Harrisburg a two goal lead early in the 2nd period. Mellor took a free kick from top of the arch and drilled it in the top corner of the net. With 28 seconds left to play in the half, Blast forward Jonatas Melo was able to get his team on the board to cut the deficit in half. In a defensive first half, the refs were letting the teams be as aggressive as possible. A few times the refs had to intervene as the players were getting more physical with each other.
A couple minutes into the 2nd half, the Blast tied the game on a goal by Sofiane Tergou. Harrisburg regained the lead on a breakaway goal by Ricardo Carvalho which would be his first of the night. With his goal, Carvalho tied Gonzaga in goals to lead the team.
The Heat offense would catch fire in the 4th period as they scored four goals. Stephen Basso would start off the scoring the final period giving Harrisburg a two goal lead. Basso’s goal bounced off the left post and just squeezed past the line. The field ref originally called it a no goal saying that the ball did not cross the line. After a brief meeting with the other refs, Basso was awarded the controversial goal.
Carvalho added his second goal of the game later in the fourth period, giving him 9 goals on the year. Thiago Freitas added a goal in the period as did Yaikel Perez with an empty net goal. Vini Dantas and Adriano Dos Santos scored the final two goals for the Blast.
Harrisburg had 16 shots on goal compared to the Blast’s 21. DaSilva finished the night with 17 saves. Vanzela saved 9 shots for the visiting Blast.
The Heat sit in second place in the Eastern Division with a record of 4-4. After losing to the defending MASL champions 11-6 in the season opener, Harrisburg turned it around and looked like a completely different team in tonight’s game. Defensively, the Heat are communicating more and are finding themselves in the right position more often than not. With a lot of new faces on this season’s roster, it took a few games for the team to gel as a whole. This victory might be the win they needed to get the team going on a winning streak.
The Heat are on the road next Friday, January 6th as they take on the Syracuse Silver Knights. Harrisburg is back home Friday January 27th against Syracuse Silver Knights. The night’s theme is “Girl’s Got Game: A Tribute to Women’s Sports.” For tickets visit http://harrisburgheat.com/tickets/