Saturday, December 11, 2004
By David Deal
The Philadelphia KiXX (5-5) dropped their fourth consecutive game with a 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Force in front of 5,120 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum tonight. Former KiXX forward Chris Handsor recorded the game-winning goal at 12:05 of the fourth quarter. Peter Pappas (3-4) took the loss for Philadelphia with 10 saves on 16 chances, while Jim Larkin, 13 saves on 18 shots faced, improved to 3-4 with the victory for the Force.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cleveland’s Chris Dore ended the drought with a goal from teammate Fred DeGand at 2:32 of the second period. Less than two minutes later (5:15), KiXX forward Goran Vasic knotted the score at 1-1 on a dish from newcomer John Barry Nusum. The 1-1 tie held entering the half.
The KiXX came out firing in the second half; after two near-goals, Philadelphia native Pat Morris capitalized on a rebound off of the boards from Damien Pottinger to give the team a 2-1 advantage at 2:58. Cleveland answered back at 8:45 when Josh Timbers slid the ball past Pappas on an assist from former KiXX midfielder Gary DePalma. With Philadelphia’s Drew Kopp already in the penalty box serving a two-minute handball penalty, midfielder Edgar Bartolomeu received a two-minute tripping infraction to give Cleveland a 5-3 advantage at 9:48 of the third quarter. Handsor utilized the opportunity to give the Force a 3-2 lead at 10:06. John Ball recorded the assist on the play. The Force held the advantage entering the final period of play.
Robbie Aristodemo gave the Force their largest lead of the night, 4-2, on a pass from Handsor at 1:53 of the fourth quarter. KiXX rookie Ptah Myers pulled the club within one, 4-3, on a notch from Nusum at the three-minute mark, but Rene Rivas quickly responded (4:41) to again give Cleveland a two-point cushion, 5-3. Vasic then found Ze Roberto off the restart at 10:16, to cut the team’s deficit to one, 5-4, but the Force answered again as Handsor found the back of the net for the second time tonight at 12:05. Nusum connected on a pass from Vasic to pull the KiXX back within one at 13:35, but Cleveland held on to earn a 6-5 victory.
Notes: Tonight’s scoreless first quarter is the fourth time this season the KiXX have been held without a goal in the opening quarter, but the first occasion neither team managed to notch a score; Philadelphia was also held scoreless to enter the second in Baltimore (11/5), in Cleveland (11/26) and in St. Louis (12/5).
Philadelphia: 0-1-1-3=5 Shots: 31
Cleveland: 0-1-2-3=6 Shots: 22
Philadelphia concludes the doubleheader weekend with a visit from the Chicago Storm on Sunday, December 12. Game-time at the Wachovia Spectrum is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET, with doors opening at 6:00 pm ET. 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.