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The Heat started the new season off right with a convincing win over the Blizzard. Now this week the real test comes early in the season as they play a home and home series against the defending champion Cleveland Crunch.

Though blessed with a bundle of talent, everyone but nasty John Ball is back, so another championship could be in the works. Hector Marinaro and Zoran Karic again wreak plenty of havoc and leave enemy keepers sobbing in their nets. The new rules make 300 point seasons possible for these two. The complementary guys, like Tommy Tanner, Goran Vasic, Lester Felician and 6-7, 265 lb Shawn Boney aren't bad. and of course there's always the defense of Andy Schmetzer, Oscar Draguicevich and Otto Orf in goal. A Central Title is a given for this outfit.

Their loss at Philly to open the season means the Crunch will be in rare form to get back to .500 at home against the Heat. The catch is whether the Crunch can keep up with the new speed on the Heat side, especially if David Bascome is healthy enough to play. However, since the Heat are missing Swords and Regis on defense, Hector will probably have opportunities to do his "cherry picking" as he so often does, unless Secretary of Defense Mike Williams puts on one of his lessons in covering Hector as he did the end of last season when the Heat controlled play and beat the Crunch 14-8 and 21-12 the last 2 times they played. A Heat win in Cleveland would be a wonderful start for the season and send a real message to Baltimore that they are not the only team in the division with offense. But since the defense is lacking 2 key parts, the prediction is:
Crunch 20 Heat 16

The tables will be turned the following night at the Farm Show Arena. Here's hoping the Heat is too hot on our turf: Heat 22 Crunch 14

Tuesday the Heat play a daytime game in Wichita against the Wings. The Wings boast 10 Indoor rookies to add to the likes of Braeden Cloutier and Jason Dunn. Speedster Jamie Harding and Vet Curtis Stelzer also are in the mix. While the defense is solid with James Dunn, Jason Olliges and Neil Ryan, rookie keepers will be this team's undoing against the Heat vets with Gary Germaine in the net. The fans in Harrisburg saw how Eloy, Gino, Bernie, Gerson and the gang took apart an inexperienced keeper last week. Now the fans in Wichita will see the same, the lucky bums: Heat 28 Wings 16