Wave splash the Blast, 22-8

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Wave avenged its lone home loss of the season, dismantling Baltimore 22-8 Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena behind seven points from Greg Howes. The win moves Milwaukee 15-2 and puts it in position to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Hewerton and Giuliano Oliviero each added five points as Milwaukee scored the most points Baltimore’s league leading defense had given up all season. For the Blast, five players notched two points.

Milwaukee was the aggressor from the opening minutes forcing two saves from Blast keeper Sagu who would be tested early and often on the night. Howes opened the scoring on a one-timed turnaround shot off a 25 yard pass from Joe Hammes. Goals from J.P. Rodrigues on a tap-in and Oliviero off a loose ball made it 6-0 with a little over four minutes left. That’s when the flood gates opened. Jonathan Greenfield netted a bank pass from Howes and Hewerton sliced in a dump-off from Nicolas Perera to make it a double digit lead with 2:47 left in the first. Marco Terminesi got in on the scoring action beating Sagu near post on a Wave man advantage. Josh Rife closed out the quarter scoring his first goal of the 2012 calendar year, toe-poking a Howes back-heel pass past the keeper to make it 14-0.

The second quarter was much more subdued than the first with only one goal being scored. Healey put Baltimore on the board with 8:39 left, finishing off a counter attack in the lower right hand corner. The action calmed down afterward until a pair of offsetting blue cards made it four on four on the field. Despite the open spaces, neither team was able to put the ball in the net. The Blast missed a key chance to draw within 10 with two minutes left as Stephen DeRoux and Healey both sailed open-net chances to keep the score 14-2 going into the half.

Baltimore maintained the lion’s share of the possession and the scoring chances in the first half of the third quarter, beginning with a restart goal from Mike Lookingland, cutting the Wave lead to 10. Milwaukee was fortunate to maintain a double-digit lead at times with the momentum square on Baltimore’s side. Leave it to the veteran Howes to turn the tide, which he did scoring a 2-point goal after shielding his defender with his body to make it 16-4. Oliviero followed suit two minutes later, tapping in a square pass from Leite to make the lead 14 yet again. Baltimore didn’t go away though and made it 18-6 off yet another restart goal, this time by Carlos Garcia with only three seconds left.

The fourth quarter saw tempers flare with four blue cards and two yellow cards given out between the two teams. Hewerton scored off a Howes pass to make it 20-6 after a yellow card was given to the Blast’s Garcia. Rodrigues followed that with a goal ten seconds into a four on four. Baltimore got in on the powerplay scoring action two minutes later when Machel Millwood put one past Feenstra to make it 22-8.

The Wave plays next on Friday, February 10th and 12th at the U.S. Cellular Arena.