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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A rare shutout

   Jan. 28, 1995 -- Shutouts are quite common in outdoor soccer. They are very rare in indoor soccer.

   So it was big news when the Buffalo Blizzard blanked Dayton in the Aud. Robert J. Summers had the story for The News:

    The Buffalo Blizzard followed its road trip from hell with a heavenly performance Saturday at Memorial Auditorium.

    A matinee crowd of 6,287 took turns cheering and holding its breath as goalkeeper Tony Meola posted the Blizzard's first shutout while his teammates rolled up the most lopsided game in the club's three-year history, a 23-0 romp over the Dayton Dynamo.The win -- which followed road losses on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday -- was the highest score of the 27 shutouts in the National Professional Soccer League's 11-season history.

    It came on the day when fans were given posters of Meola, featuring a quote from the the U.S. World Cup captain: "Keeping. It's all about getting it done."

    "It's something I believe in," Meola said. "My theory has always been that I don't have the greatest technique, but I just find a way to get it done. It doesn't matter for me how I save the ball, as long as I save it."

    Meola, now 3-4 since his pro indoor debut at Dayton on Dec. 28, made a career-high 21 saves. He said the most difficult came with about 3 1/2 minutes left, when he dove blindly after a shot by Chris Pfau and "saw it the last second and I saved it with my left hand."

    Meola was quick to give much credit for the Blizzard's only shutout in 109 games to his defensive teammates.

    "We had a meeting last night after the game (a 15-7 loss at Harrisburg) and we just said it was important that we play good defense first. That's about as good a defense as you're going to play," Meola said.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.