by Edward J. Reiner
December 28: The 1991 Major Indoor Lacrosse League Season started with the Detroit Turbos and Baltimore Thunder face off at the Baltimore Arena. The game started under difficult circumstances for the Turbos because the Gaits showed up 10 minutes before the game and some other players showed up during the first quarter. The purple and black had to start equipment manager Gary Law in goal. The reason the players could not get to the game was that bad weather conditions prohibited their plane from landing.
When the contest finally started the Thunder jumped out to a quick 5 to O lead. When goalie Ted Sawicki showed up, the Turbos turned on the heat and at the half they were behind by the Paul and Gary Gait had three score of 11 to 9. goals a piece in the half. When the second quarter started, the Thunder could not stop their charge and Paul Gait finished with 7 goals and 2 assists to lead the Turbos to a 20 to 16 win. “We overcame a quick start by the Thunder and the fact that 7 of our key players were late for the said Turbos coach Medo Martinello. We game ran well and just kept picking away at them.”
January 5: The Turbos next game had them up against the two—time defending champion Philadelphia Wings, The purple and black started strong at the 36 second mark, Gary Gait the Turbos a 1 to 0 lead. The Turbos added three more and Chris Flynn scored one for the Wings at 9:11 In the second quarter, the purple and black would just dominate the flat—footed Wings and would score five unanswered goals for a halftime lead of 11 to 4.
In the second half, the Turbos could do what they wanted and the Wings would only score 4 goals. Sawicki played a fabulous game making 43 “We were very disciplined saves on 52 shots. tonight and we had some lucky breaks ” said Medo Martnello. “Our shooting and goaltending was excellent.” Final: Turbos 18 — Wings 8 .
January 19: The Turbos are playing the Pittsburgh Bulls in the their first National Division game The Bulls are a tough defensive team but the Turbos have the Gaits and in the first matchup the purple and black walk away with a 26 to 12 win . The Gait brothers lead the way with 10 goals (Gary 5, Paul 5) and 10 assists (Gary 7, Paul 3) . Armando Rodriques had 4 goals and Parke had 3. The Bulls jumped out to quick 3 to 0 lead by the end of the quarter the score was Turbos 5, Bulls 3. In the second quarter Sawicki was hot making 11 saves on 11 shots while the Turbos where running over Bulls goalie Kevin Bilger .
In the third quarter, the Turbos scored 8 goals on 14 shots and the Bulls scored 2 as the Turbos opened up a 21 to 7 lead. The attendance at the Joe Louis Arena was 7 , 122 and they saw Sawicki stop 25 shots in three quarters and second string goalie Mike Sanmit made 18 saves .
January 26: The rematch between the Turbos and Bulls at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. This game was closer than the one in -Detroit and the Turbos needed 5 late goals to stop the Bulls 23 to 180 After the first quarter, the game was tied at 3. The Gaits had 10 goals (5 each) and Brian Lemon had 3, Rodrigues, Monte, Terry Martinello and Parke had two goals apiece in the game .
The game was close until the third quarter when the Turbos scored 10 goals on 20 shots to give them a 15 to 10 lead. In the final quarter the Bulls pressed doggedly to come back and played the last 1:46 of the game with an open net.