The road was unkind to the Buffalo Blizzard again Friday night as it was handed a 19-8 National Professional Soccer League setback by the Edmonton Drillers before a crowd of 4,123 in the Edmonton Coliseum.
Buffalo is 1-6 away from home this season, the worst road start in the club's six-year history. Conversely, the Blizzard is 6-0 at home for a 7-6 overall record. The Drillers improved to 3-6 overall and 3-2 at home.
Two-point goals by Marco Rizi, Rudy Pikuzinski and Andrew Crawford, on a well-executed header, gave the Blizzard a 6-2 first-quarter lead.
That was the end of the party for Buffalo, however, as Edmonton went on an 8-0 run in the second quarter to make it 10-6 at halftime.
The Drillers' Carmen D'Onofrio and Domenic Mobilio connected on two-pointers in first 1:01 of the second. The home team took the lead for good at 7-6 on a shootout tally by Sipho Sibiya at 8:09 of the period.
Ziad Allan later outraced Buffalo goalkeeper Billy Andracki to a loose ball and scored a three-point goal to give Edmonton its four-point halftime spread.
Buffalo closed within two on a restart goal by Doug Miller at 1:15 of third, but that was the end of the Blizzard scoring. Midway through the quarter, Pikuzinski was stopped on a breakaway by Drillers goalkeeper Scott Hileman, before Buffalo's Nassim Olabi failed to connect from close range about 30 seconds later.
The Blizzard is taking today off because a youth tournament is occupying the Drillers' practice facility and the Coliseum is being used by the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers. Buffalo will meet the Drillers here again at 8:05 p.m. Sunday (Radio 107.7 FM).