The Baltimore Blast making the playoffs is about as dependable as the sun coming up each morning–the team has made the postseason for 11 straight seasons. But going for the third straight Major Arena Soccer League title is a rarer feat.
That quest begins tonight with the first of potentially three games in the Eastern Division Final against the Syracuse Silver Knights. Game 1 is set for tonight at Oncenter War Memorial Arena at 7:05 p.m. And you can stream it for free on YouTube.
Game 2 is scheduled at Towson University’s SECU Arena this Sunday at 5:05 p.m., and if the series is tied after that, a 15-minute mini game to decide the winner will immediately follow. Tickets are still available.
As head coach Danny Kelly said in a Twitter message to fans this morning, the intensity of the already-fast-paced indoor game is ratcheted up a few notches in the playoffs.
“Everything’s ramped up,” he said. “You know, this is what they play for, this is what I coach for. This is where we want to be.”
MASL has implemented some changes this postseason that may make another title run a little harder. Following the Division Championships, the Conference Finals and Ron Newman Cup Championship will be decided in one game, instead of a three-game series as in years past. During each of their championships the last two seasons, the Blast used late heroics to battle back and ultimately win.
Another addition: The league will for the first time be implementing video replay. Only the refs can call for a replay, and it can be used to examine goal calls, possible red cards and “major rules errors.”
The Silver Knights and Blast have had nothing but tight games during the regular season. Though the Blast won the regular season series 3-1, the first three games were decided by only one goal, until Syracuse finally broke through at home and beat the Blast on March 4, 6-4.
“Syracuse is in our way, and we respect them,” said Kelly. “But our goal is to get past them.”
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