BLAINE, Minn. (Sunday, May 31, 2009) – The Thunder fail to end their May home stand on a high note. Minnesota played the last 10 minutes of the second half a man down. And just before the game ended, it caught up to them. The Islanders scored the winning goal in the 90th minute. The Thunder did not manage to get a win with the home field advantage during the past four games. They had a 0-3-1 record. Next on Minnesota’s plate is an away game at Rochester to take on the Rhinos. The game is on Saturday, June 6 at 6:35 p.m. and can be viewed for free on www.usllive.com.
Nic Platter, in the third minute, set the tone of the game in his favor. Puerto Rico midfielder Jonny Steele came barreling down the left side of the field and proceeded to dump the ball off to Kendall Jagdeosingh who promptly centered it to Sean Fraser. Fraser took a quick shot that looked good but Platter said «permission not granted» with his hands as he kept the Islanders from taking an early lead.
Melvin Tarley had his own near miss in the 11th minute. He had the ball at the top of the box with two defenders closing in fast when he took his shot. Islanders keeper, Bill Guadette, was dialed into this play and he made the save keeping things on level ground.
Tarley had another close chance in the 29th minute. He shot the ball just inside the box. It was not the cleanest shot ever taken but it was good enough to make a defender slide in and just knick the ball out of bounds.
Platter denied access to another great attempt by Puerto Rico in the 40th minute. With a give-and-go inspired play by the Islanders, Fraser was able to rip a shot point blank at the Minnesota keeper. Platter was caught leaning but made an impressive fully stretched dive to make the stop.
Rod Dyachenko gave the Thunder a close call in the first period stoppage time. He had the ball with two defenders closing in fast and he decided to take advantage of the small window of opportunity. Dyachenko was still 15 yards shy of the penalty box but he took his shot anyway. Gaudette did not give much thought to the ball but he was forced to react when it curled toward the net. Dyachenko’s shot ended up missing wide left by just inches.
The Thunder and the Islanders walked off the field for half with a fire in their bellies for the first goal of the game.
Platter continued to lay the brick and mortar in the second half. In the 54th minute, Jagdeosingh stole a pass and made a b-line for the goal. He rifled a shot but to no prevail because Platter made yet another diving save.
In the 63rd minute, Minnesota put up the first goal of the game. Ricardo Sanchez had a corner kick that he put on a dime. Olum followed the ball and headed it perfectly to the goal. Gaudette managed to get a hand on it but he tipped it into the goal.
Puerto Rico answered quickly with their own goal. In the 65th minute, the ball was crossed well past the net and found Steele. He saw the ball and promptly headed it to the far side of the goal to a place that was out of Platter’s reach. This put Puerto Rico back on level ground with Minnesota.
If Platter could reach the ball he did. In the 70th minute, the Islanders were on another offensive advance. They shot at Platter who punched the ball away and Puerto Rico collected the rebound and shot again. Platter made another save to prevent the go ahead goal.
In the 78th minute, Minnesota midfielder Ricardo Sanchez was sent off. This left the Thunder playing a man down for the remainder of the game.
Very late in the second half, the Islanders took the lead. In the 90th minute, Puerto Rico was making a series of passes without letting the ball touch the ground and on the last one Mediate had a shot and took it. The shot was cross net and Platter dove but could not reach it. This was the game winning for the Islanders.
Minnesota ended the game disappointed in the last minute goal but is preparing to take on the Rochester Rhinos.
«It was tough, it was tough,» said Thunder midfielder Jeremiah Bass. «We played pretty well for most of the game. Going down a man really hurt in the end. Those small things make a big difference, especially against a top team.»
Thunder season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased for as little as $65. Fans can choose from flex ticket options that allow the use of any number of tickets for any game, or fans can choose their specific seat for each and every game. In addition, the Thunder’s new Shield Pass allows fans ages 3-18 to attend every single Thunder and Lightning game for just $20 for the season. With over a $200 value, the Shield Pass is the best sports ticket value in the Twin Cities. To purchase season tickets, please visit www.mnthunder.com or call 651.294.4664.