Bulls’ offense continues to sputter

by David Fink

Post-Gazette Sports Writer

The offense that was supposed to propel the Pittsburgh Bulls into contention for the Major Indoor Lacrosse League title this season has all but disappeared.

The team’s trumpeted toughness is now a sometimes thing.

“I think we’ve gotten so frustrated that in a lot of cases we’re just going through the motions, just trying to get the season over with,” said Bulls forward Brian Nikula after their 15-7 loss to the Philadelphia Wings Saturday night at the Civic Center.

“I don’t think we’re playing with the pride or intensity we had early in the season.”

The loss to the two-time defending MILL champions was the Bulls’ fourth straight and their third in four home games.  Their 2-6 record is the worst in the six team league.

They are in last place in the three-team National Division, 4½ games behind first-place Detroit, which has clinched the division’s playoff berth.

In their past four games, the Bulls have scored only 35 goals.

“Our offense is pitiful; it’s terrible,” said forward Butch Marino, the lone bright spot in the Bulls’ attack against the Wings.

Martino rang up three goals, raising his team-leading total to 20.

Philadelphia’s second victory over the Bulls in nine days was never in doubt.

The Wings (4-4) scored three goals in the first 3:02 of the opening quarter, ramming three straight past goaltender Kevin Bilger.  Phil Deniken scored two of those goals and finished with three plus two assists.

After leading, 5-2, at halftime, Philadelphia scored two goals in a 10-second span in the second minute of the third period.

“We started out slow and fell in a hole right away,” said Coach Dennis Wey.

NOTES—The game drew a crowd of 8,589, raising the Bulls’ home attendance to 34,153.  The four-game average is 8,538.  The game will be replayed tonight at 10 on KBL…Forward John Wilson, the Bulls’ leading scorer (32 points), had a goal and an assist before leaving the game after the third quarter because of an injured right thigh…The Bulls visit New England Sunday afternoon, then close out their second MILL season against the New York Saints March 23 at the Arena.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 11, 1991)

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