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BLIZZARD LOSES, WILL PLAY WICHITA IN PLAYOFFS

A 23-16 loss to the St. Louis Ambush Sunday night was of little significance to the Buffalo Blizzard, which is looking ahead to the National Professional Soccer League playoffs.

The Blizzard will meet the Wichita Wings in the National Conference semifinals. The best-of-three series begins Thursday, April 9 at Marine Midland Arena.

Buffalo (21-19) enters the postseason as the second seed in the conference. It earned a first-round bye after winning the North Division championship.

The Blizzard was hoping to get Wichita in the semifinals because the team was 4-0 against the third-seeded Wings during the regular season.

Buffalo is not going into the postseason on much of a roll. Sunday's loss was the third in as many games on this regular season-ending road trip.

Although Buffalo wanted to win at least a couple on this road trip, it accomplished the most important goals of giving key players some much needed rest and reserves an opportunity to play.

St. Louis (27-13), winner of the Midwest Division and the top seed in the National Conference playoffs, went ahead, 4-0, on two-point goals by Scott McDoniel and Mark Moser and never lost the lead.

A three-point goal by Buffalo's Armando Valdivia cut the deficit to 6-5, but the Ambush scored four of the next six goals to take a 14-8 advantage at halftime.

A pair of two-point goals by Andrew Crawford got the Blizzard within two points at 14-12, but that would be as close as Buffalo would get.

Crawford added two one-point goals and finished with a team-high six points. Valdivia and Randy Pikuzinski (one two-point goal, two assists) had four points each for the Blizzard.

Moser led the Ambush with six points (three two-pointers), while Joe Reiniger (one three-pointer, one two-pointer) and Franklin McIntosh (two-pointer, one-pointer, two assists) had five points each.

St. Louis had a 42-34 edge in shots on goal.

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