Illinois Piasa Drop Final Regular Season Home Game 6-3 to Wichita B-52s
PONTOON BEACH, IL. February 15, 2014 - The Illinois Piasa unleashed a furious three-goal rally late on Saturday night, but it wasn't enough as they lost their final home game of the season 6-3 to the Wichita B-52s at The Field Sports Complex. The loss means Piasa will go into their final game of the season in Detroit with a frustrating 2-13 record, but the organization will feel like they've drawn many positives from this season in terms of player development.
Wichita struck first with 9:56 to go in the first quarter. Striker Heivel Cordoles was picked out by defender Daniel Sack to give the B-52s the early 1-0 advantage.
The Piasa controlled some of the possession and the action was lively, but there were no other goals in the quarter.
The B-52s are disallowed a controversial goal with 12:09 to go in the second quarter. Piasa goalkeeper Alan Hagerty was whistled for handling outside the box while making a save on defender Brady Bryant and the B-52s quickly restarted and scored. However, the referee ruled that the quick start was illegal.
On the foul though, the Piasa picked up their sixth foul of the game and the B-52s went on the power play. And with 10:40 to go midfielder Colin Lawter found midfielder Matt Clare, whose strike went into Hagerty's goal to make it 2-0 Wichita. Following the goal, Clare led his team to celebrate in front of the St. Louligans supporters group, which drew the crowd's ire.
The visitors extended their lead further with 4:49 to go in the half. Bryant found Clare, who notched his second goal of the night from a tight angle to make it 3-0 B-52s.
The Piasa finally found some relief via the power play. The B-52s picked up their sixth foul of the match with 4:08 to go and Illinois went to work. Defender JJ Bilyeu had a wonderful opportunity right in front of the net, but his shot went wide as the Piasa went into the half scoreless.
The second half didn't start out much better as the B-52s were back on the board as Bryant found the net just 1:14 in to make it 4-0 Wichita.
With 10:33 to go in the third quarter, the B-52s went on the power play for a sixth Piasa foul, but the defense stepped up to keep the deficit at four.
But with 5:32 to go in the quarter, Piasa forward Almin Sabotic was awarded a blue card while challenging for a loose ball. The B-52s took advantage of the resulting power play to make it 5-0 with 4:29 to go as midfielder Travis Pittman found the net off an assist from fellow midfielder Maikel Chang.
With 2:44 to go in the third, following a pair of B-52s fouls, including a sixth team foul, the Piasa went on the two-man advantage and finally got on the board. It was midfielder Ross MacGregor getting his first goal of the season with 2:32 to go in the quarter to cut the deficit to 5-1 Wichita.
MacGregor, Sabotic, and midfielder Ernad Cavka all put shots on net as the Piasa maintained a one-man advantage, but none could find the net as Piasa remained down four goals heading into the fourth quarter.
But the Piasa cut the lead to three with 10:27 to go in the game as Sabotic dispossessed a B-52 defender just outside their box and fired low past Wichita goalie Jason Dewey to make it 5-2.
The comeback was truly on with seven minutes to go as Piasa midfielder Mirza Kovacevic found defender Jaime Toro with space and his shot went past a crowd of B-52 defenders and Dewey to cut the lead to 5-3.
The momentum was halted when the Piasa picked up their sixth team foul with 4:04 left in the game, but the defense kept the game alive by denying the B-52's the opportunity to put the game away.
The Piasa immediately looked to bring the game even closer, but they were over-anxious and ended up with too many men on the field with 1:28 to go. The resulting power play gave the B-52s the opportunity to close the door and they did with 29 seconds to go as Chang found midfielder Brent Hobson for the final score of 6-3.
The Illinois Piasa pro team did not qualify for the PASL playoffs, but the Premier team is still very much in the hunt for postseason action.
After the pro game, the Illinois Piasa Premier team took an early lead and never relinquished it in a 4-1 win over the B-52s Premier team to leapfrog into third place in the Midwest Division.
Piasa Premier finish off the regular season with back-to-back home games on Friday February 28 and Saturday, March 1. On Friday, they welcome interstate rivals Illinois Fire to town and on Saturday, they'll do battle with the River City Saints from Louisville. Both of those games will kickoff at 7:35 PM CST at the Field Sports Complex in Pontoon Beach, Illinois.
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