Sloan, Pappas Help KiXX Even Series
Game 3 Needed to Decide MISL Championship
Saturday, April 27, 2002
By Greg Wiley
A two-point goal by Kevin Sloan at 5:48 of the fourth quarter gave the Philadelphia KiXX an 8-4 win over the Milwaukee Wave in Game 2 of the MISL Championship Series at the First Union Center Saturday night. The KiXX victory will force a deciding Game 3 in this best-of-three format to be played Friday, May 3, in Milwaukee.
Sloan teamed up with goalkeeper Peter Pappas to tie the series. Pappas was sensational in net, stopping 16 of the 18 shots he faced and allowing no fourth-quarter goals. Sloan had a five-point night, scoring a pair of two-point goals and assisting on another.
Philadelphia drew first blood when Sloan put a feed from player-coach Omid Namazi past Wave 'keeper Victor Nogueira off a re-start at 3:07 of the first quarter. Milwaukee answered with the contest's next two goals, however, both of which came from the foot of Sipho Sibiya. The Wave's 4-2 lead was negated in the third quarter by KiXX forward Chris Handsor, who right-footed a turnaround shot into the back of the net.
Neither team managed to score in the third quarter after Handsor's tally, but Matt Brooks set up Sloan for the game-winner from just inside the three-point arc to make it 6-4. "Fortunately, Victor got screened on that shot," Sloan said, recounting the game-winner. "He didn't really see it coming." Insurance goals late from Joe Scigliano and Gary DePalma (a three-pointer) put the game away.
The game's momentum swung Philadelphia's way early in the fourth on a KiXX powerplay. The team had three excellent scoring chances highlighted by a Sloan bicycle kick and, despite failing to notch a goal, prompted the seven-point run. Ironically, the 11-4 decision was the same score that Philadelphia found itself on the losing side of only a night earlier.
Timely defensive plays by a couple of KiXX defenders kept scoring to a minimum in the first half, as both DePalma and Pat Morris bailed out their goalkeeper with stops at the goal line.
"This team is about beating the odds," Namazi said. "It's all about laying it all on the line on Friday night."
NOTES: The attendance was 3,216... Philadelphia is now 4-6 against Milwaukee this season... Game 3 will be played at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
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