The Riot nearly ended their winless form tonight against the Wave. While the Riot fought valiantly, they ended up being narrowly defeated 9-8 on Saturday night. It makes it even worse that the loss comes to a team from Milwaukee. Follow me after the break for a quick recap of the action...
Milwaukee has been on fire as of late. In fact, this victory was their 13th consecutive victory, dating back to last season. This did not faze the Riot, as they came out playing an aggressive brand of indoor hockey, errr I mean soccer. The match was definitely entertaining, featuring three ties and two lead changes. The Riot kicked off the scoring in the first quarter off a nice goal by former Wave player Alex Megson. The lead did not last long however, as the Wave answered back on a goal by Marco Terminesi, easily juking out Riot keeper Jeff Richey for the tap in. Terminesi has now scored in 7 consecutive contests, dating back to last season.
New Riot acquisition Anthony Maher put the visiting side back in front with a 2-1 breakaway goal about halfway through the 2nd quarter, giving Chicago a 4-2 cushion. The Wave responded right back, with Hewerton (only 1 name, therefore Brazilian) putting the ball in the net off a deflected Evan McNeley long range strike on the Power Play to again knot the game at 4-all.
The Wave kicked off scoring in the 3rd, with Travis MacKenzie tallying another Wave Power Play goal with 6:02 remaining in the quarter (it still seems odd to call them quarters and not halves). For once, the Riot played spoiler, converting a goal just seconds later by Chris Brisson to tie the game at 6.
Jonathan Greenfield, making his debut for the Riot, scored a dagger 3 point goal, blasting a shot past Jeff Richey to give the Wave a 9-6 lead. The Riot could have laid down, but they did not, and fought back to a 9-8 deficit with a Houdini like score by Bato Radoncic. He put the ball through the 5 hole on Wave net minder Jeff Vorberg.
The Wave nearly shot themselves in the foot, as Ryan Mack got a blue card with only a minute remaining. Though the Riot scrambled to find the game winner with the man advantage, they couldn't convert, losing a tough fought and heart breaking game 9-8 without tallying a shot on goal in the last minute. It was a disappointing end to the game, especially because I felt the Riot had the momentum coming off the last goal and had the Wave were on their heels. In the end it wasn't meant to be. We now have word that tonight's game against the Missouri Comets has been postponed due to weather. After this tough road trip where Chicago lost a blow-out and a close one, the Riot might view this as a bit of divine intervention.