James Giuseppe | harrisburgheat.com
The Heat took on the Baltimore Blast in Game 2 of the Eastern Division Playoff and it was certainly worth the price of admission. A game for the ages, it had consistent lead changes, flared tempers and and electric playoff atmosphere.
The excitement started early with a back and forth battle in the first period. The Heat jumped ahead by 2 very quickly with Gonzaga and Gatica each scoring. But the Blast fought right back, scoring 2 goals of their own. However, the Heat gained advantage late in the quarter with a goal courtesy of Tom Mellor.
A shot off of the foot of Blast’s Vinicius Dantas at the beginning of the second quarter tied the game. The Blast pulled ahead, continuing the see-saw battle that made the first half of this game one to remember.
The second half started slower than the first, but mid-way thorugh, the Heat struck again with a short goal by Brad Kerstetter. The game would be at a stalemate until the early parts of the 4th period.
The Blast turned it up a notch toward the end of the game by dropping three goals and finally gaining the edge of the back and forth battle. The Blast won Game 2 with a score of 7-4. The teams then began to prepare for the third game in the series: a 15 minute mini game.
Game 3 began at 10 p.m. following the Heat’s tough loss in game 2. The mini-game in the series was not lacking the same intensity in the previous game. The first goal was scored by the Blast’s Pereira. The Heat answered back with a rocket shot goal from Chile Farias after a beautiful assist from David Mellor.
With 3:11 left in the mini game, the Blast’s Roque scored to give them the advantage. With 2:30 left to play, Chile would be called for tripping, and gave the Blast a 5-4 player advantage. The Blast capitalized on the advantage, scoring a third goal, then a fourth with only a little more than 1 minute left. The game ended at 4-1.
The Heat fought their hearts out, but in the end, the defending champs proved too much and defeated the Heat in the final mini game. It was a magical year for the 2016-17 Heat, setting the tone for them to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.