Friday, April 13, 2007
By Tom Hushen
Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia KiXX (0-1) lost to the Chicago Storm (1-0) in Game One of the MISL semifinal, two-game series, 11-8. With the KiXX now facing elimination, the clubs will travel to Philadelphia for Game Two, tomorrow night, April 14, with game time scheduled for 7:05pm ET. A KiXX win would force a sudden death, “Golden Goal” mini-game, with the first goal deciding the series.
A Storm win would complete the sweep send Chicago to Detroit for the MISL Championship game to be played on April 21. The winner of tomorrow’s match will await the outcome of the Detroit Ignition-Milwaukee Wave series. Game One of Ignition vs. Wave will be televised live on Versus tomorrow at 4:00pm ET.
Player/coach Don D’Ambra put Philadelphia up 2-0 on an unassisted goal just 55 seconds into the match. D’Ambra, one of four KiXX players named to the All-MISL First Team, led Philadelphia in scoring this season with
32 goals for 85 points. Branko Savic answered less than three minutes later for the Storm, his first career postseason goal. With 1:44 remaining in the quarter, Gaston Pernia was called for holding penalty, resulting in a shoot-out goal for the KiXX. Genoni Martinez buried his first of the game, putting Philadelphia up 4-2 after one. Martinez was recently named MISL Defender-of-the-Year, becoming the first player in MISL history to receive the award four times.
After a scoreless second quarter, Martinez scored his second shoot-out goal of the night, and improved to 4-4 on the season in shoot-out situations. Chicago would go on to score three unanswered goals, with tallies by Randy Soderman, Rookie-of-the-Year Stephen Armstrong, and Mark Ughy to put the Storm ahead 9-6. Armstrong has haunted the KiXX this season, with 19 points in seven games.
John Barry Nusum set up Dino Delevski in the fourth to pull Philadelphia to within one point, but Mariano Bollella’s fourth goal of the season against the KiXX sealed the playoff victory for the Storm, the first in the franchise’s three-year history. All-MISL defender Pat Morris played the final 4:39 as 6^th attacker, but Philadelphia was unable to tie the game despite six shots on Storm keeper Jim Larkin.
Notes: While Philadelphia began the game with a healthy roster, injuries to Drew Kopp and Edgar Bartolomeu during the game limited their playing time in the second half. D’Ambra drops to 0-5 in his career as a coach in playoff games. The win was the first for the home team in seven games played this season between Chicago and Philadelphia. Martinez and D’Ambra extended their points streaks to 16 and 9 games respectively.
First Quarter - Scoring: PHI 2, D’Ambra (Unassisted) :55. CHI 2, Savic (Bollella) 3:35. PHI 4, Martinez (Shoot Out Goal) 13:17.
Penalties: CHI, Pernia (Holding) 13:16.
Second Quarter - Scoring: None
Penalties: CHI, Valle (Charging) 11:58.
Third Quarter Scoring: PHI 6, Martinez (Shoot Out Goal) :42. CHI 5, Soderman (Bollella) 1:06. CHI 7, Armstrong (Unassisted) 3:01. CHI 9, Ughy (Stewart) 9:10.
Penalties: CHI Larkin (Handball) :40. PHI Barton (Kicking) 1:50. PHI D’Ambra (Trip) 7:28.
Fourth Quarter Scoring: PHI 8, Delevski (Nusum) 3:34. CHI 11, Bollella (8:16