Dawson's goal stops Edmonton
Plunkett ties game late in regulation; Blasdell key in net
Special for The Republic
Feb. 19, 2007 12:00 AM
The Sting found themselves staring in the face of a second straight defeat at the hands of Edmonton until Dan Dawson, Lindsay Plunkett and Rob Blasdell changed the course of the game - and possibly the season - with their late-game heroics Sunday.
Most crucially, three minutes into sudden-death overtime Dawson beat Edmonton Rush goaltender Curtis Palidwor with a shot into the upper-right corner of the net to give the Sting a thrilling 12-11 triumph and send the 7,063 fans at Jobing.com Arena home happy.
Dawson's goal never could have happened without Plunkett and Blasdell's last-minute efforts. advertisement
Down 11-10 heading into the final minute of regulation, Plunkett whipped a shot past Palidwor to tie the game and give the Sting a chance to simply get to overtime.
But the Rush, who scored eight second-half goals and were having their way with the Arizona defense, mounted one more attack.
With five seconds left in regulation, an Edmonton shot hit the crossbar behind Blasdell, the Sting goalie, and began bouncing perilously toward the net before Blasdell turned and smothered the ball and saved the game for the Sting.
"We made a lot of mistakes, but at the end of the day we've got to take what the end result was," Sting coach Bob Hamley said after the game in which his team improved to 5-2.
Hamley said he believed his team began playing to protect its lead after the Sting took a 9-4 advantage late in the third quarter.
The team's failure to continue to attack Edmonton, combined with what Hamley called "mental mistakes," allowed Edmonton to put together a big rally that culminated in the Rush's one-goal advantage before Plunkett's goal.
"This is a game of runs and momentum swings," Hamley said. "You just hope your momentum swings are bigger than theirs."
The first half of the contest was a defensive struggle.
After shutting down Arizona's offense a week ago in Edmonton, Palidwor picked up right where he left off against the Sting in the first half, holding the Sting to four goals.
However, Blasdell was up to the challenge as he quieted the Rush offense, keeping it to three goals to stake the Sting to a narrow advantage.
Making the Sting's win all the more important is the fact that the team now must go on the road to face East Division-leading Rochester.