Saturday, February 26, 2005
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (17-12) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-6 overtime decision versus the Cleveland Force (11-13) in front of 6,324 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum. Philadelphia player/coach Don D’Ambra led all scorers with a season-high four goals, including the game-winner at 6:38 of the extra stanza. Peter Pappas (15-10) earned the victory in net for Philadelphia, turning away 10 of the 16 shots he faced, while Jim Larkin (9-11) took the loss for the Storm with 16 saves on 23 chances.
Cleveland’s Chris Dore opened the game’s scoring, with what proved to be the only goal of the stanza, on a pass from teammate Tamas Weisz at the 7:31 mark of the first quarter.
KiXX player/coach Don D’Ambra knotted the score at 1-1 with his third goal in two games, on a feed from defender Jeremy Aldrich one minute and four seconds into the second period. Just over a minute later (2:11), Philadelphia took their first lead of the night, 2-1, as rookie forward John Barry Nusum found the back of the net for a power-play tally off a D’Ambra assist. The KiXX received the one-man advantage after Cleveland’s Ryan Hall was sent to the penalty box for a two-minute pushing infraction. Force midfielder Robbie Aristodemo found former Philadelphian Chris Handsor all alone in front of the net (13:06) to tie the game, 2-2, entering the half.
Hall put Cleveland back ahead one, 3-2, finishing a feed from Rene Rivas at 1:56 of the third stanza. D’Ambra rang the bell for the second time of the evening, this time on an assist from player/assistant coach Kevin Sloan at 4:03, to pull the clubs even at 3-3. Handsor answered right back, 4-3, with a power-play tally at 11:57, courtesy of a two-minute holding penalty called on KiXX defender Ptah Myers.
Dore extended the Force advantage to two, 5-3, with his second notch of the evening on an assist from Hall at 3:35 of the final quarter of play. After former KiXX midfielder Gary DePalma was sent to the box for a two-minute kicking infraction, Philadelphia native Pat Morris pulled the club within one, 5-4, with a power-play tally off a feed from D’Ambra at 8:38. D’Ambra then knotted the game at 5-5, completing his hat trick (three goals) off a restart pass from forward Goran Vasic at 11:36 of the period. KiXX rookie forward Damien Pottinger snuck one past Larkin to give Philadelphia the one-point, 6-5, advantage with less than three minutes of play remaining (12:47). With a minute and five seconds on the clock, Cleveland’s Aaron Susi connected on a pass from DePalma to send the game into overtime, the fourth time the KiXX have gone into the extra stanza this season.
Six minutes and thirty-eight seconds into the extra stanza, D’Ambra gave Philadelphia a 7-6 victory with his season-high fourth goal of the night.
Notes: Former KiXX midfielder Chris Handsor has now notched 11 points on seven goals and four assists against his ex-teammates this season. Philadelphia player/coach Don D’Ambra registered a season-high six points on four goals and two assists tonight, marking his first hat trick of the season; the Philadelphia native has now recorded six of the club’s 12 total goals in the last two outings.
Philadelphia: 0-2-1-3-1=7 Shots: 32
Cleveland: 1-1-2-2=6 Shots: 28
The KiXX next head south to kick-off a two-game road swing versus the two-time defending MISL Champion Baltimore Blast on March 1. Game-time at the 1st Mariner Arena is slated for 7:05 pm ET, with all the action available live at www.pennlive.com. The club then squares-off versus the Milwaukee Wave on March 6, before returning home to entertain the Blast on Saturday, March 19. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please contact the club’s Executive Office at 1-888-888-KiXX (5499) or visit www.kixxonline.com.