A few early punches was all the Blast needed Friday night to take out the short-handed Chicago Soul.
A dominating second quarter was plenty as the Blast won for the second straight time against the Soul, this time a 17-9 win in front of an announced crowd of 3,317 at
Pat Healey scored two goals, Adauto Neto and Lucio Gonzaga each contributed one goal and two assists, and seven different players scored for the home team.
"We're always a team that doesn't have that guy on top of the league [in scoring] just because it's not just one guy, a team effort offensively and defensively," Healey said. "So whoever is breaking out or whoever is at the back pole to play it to, you find him because you trust the guy."
It turned out Blast newcomer Tony Donatelli provided the knockout punch when he scored a three-point goal with two seconds left in the second quarter, giving the Blast (2-0) a commanding 15-7 lead that was never threatened in the second half.
In a quiet second half that saw each team score once late in the fourth quarter, the Blast was content possessing the ball and the deflated Soul provided little resistance. Rookie goalkeeper Troy Hernandez made eight saves to earn his second win.
The Blast comfortably handled the Chicago Soul in their home opener last Saturday, 23-13, so when the visitors returned Friday minus their top offensive player, veteran Chile Farias, it quickly became clear the second time around would be even easier.
Keeping the ball and quick to share it, the Blast took firm hold in the second quarter to claim a commanding 15-7 lead at the half. Much like the opener, the Blast showed a balanced offense with the home team's seven goals in the first half coming from different players.
The Soul showed some early fight, with Matthew Stewart's three-point goal providing a 5-4 lead with 3:24 to play in the first quarter. But it proved to be short-lived as defender Mike Lookingland cranked a left-footed shot quickly past Soul goalie Jeff Richey to give the Blast a 6-5 lead two minutes later.
The Blast outscored the visitors by a 9-2 margin in the pivotal second quarter Rookie Marco Mangione scored his first career goal, and Machel Millwood became the team's fifth-leading scorer after notching a goal and an assist in the quarter.
Still looking for a cleaner game defensively and seeing his team take care of the little details better, coach Danny Kelly was happy with the Blast regularly finding the back of the net.
"Every game can come down to whether you finish your chances, and tonight and the last game, we've been finishing our chances, which is a good thing," he said. "So that's what I'll take from this game."
The Blast will return to
on Saturday night to take on the Syracuse Silver Knights. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m. The Blast is expected to turn to rookie goalkeeper William Vanzela, who will make his first career start.
Chicago 5 2 0 2 -- 9
Blast 6 9 0 2 -- 17
Scoring: 1. Blast, Gonzaga, 2 pt., (Neto), 3:17; 2. Chicago, Munoz, 2 pt., (Meza), 5:30; 3. Blast, Healey, 2 pt., (Millwood), 8:15; 4. Chicago, Stewart, 3 pt., (Kletzien), 11:36; 5. Blast, Lookingland, 2 pt., (Noone), 13:44.
Scoring: 6. Blast, Mangione, 2 pt., (Neto), 1:34; 7. Chicago, Meza, 2 pt., (Munoz), pp., 4:28; 8. Blast, Neto, 2 pt., (Gonzaga), 5:19; 9. Blast, Millwood, 2 pt., (Gonzaga ), 7:19; 10. Blast, Donatelli, 3 pt., (Ferdinand), 14:58.
Penalties: Blast, Dos Santos, (tripping), 4:17
Penalties: Blast, Myers, (delay of game misconduct), 7:22
Scoring: 11. Blast, Healey, 2 pt., (Donatelli ), pp., 9:45; 12. Chicago, Stewart, 2 pt., (Radoncic), 11:09
Penalties: Chicago, Munoz, (tripping), 9:17
Shots on goal: Chicago 5-3-4-6 -- 18; Blast 9-7-0-5 -- .
Power-play opportunities: Chicago 1-for-1; Blast: 1-for-1.
Goalies Saves: Chicago, Richey 1-1-0-3 – 5; Blast, Hernandez 1-1-3-3 –8 .
A – 3,317