A sweeping change for the Baltimore Blast

PARKVILLE, Md. (WMAR) - Last Friday night started out pretty normal for Joey Kapinos at his Massachusetts home.

"It began watching Baltimore play Kansas City. Sitting on my couch. I think I was eating Doritos," said Kapinos.

Pretty quickly he had to trash the chips.

"I saw William go down and before I know it I had Kevin Healey texting me saying 'Hey are you interested in signing with the Baltimore Blast?'," he said.

A few hours later the 28-year-old goalie was the newest member of the Blast.  Baltimore's General Manager Kevin Healey knew he needed Kapinos after the club's All-Star keeper, William Vanzela, tore his groin during Friday night's game.

"When I took the first step across I just felt a pop," said Vanzela. "Then my leg pretty much gave up on me."

Defender Pat Healey filled in for the rest of the game in goal, leading the Blast to a 15-8 win. They had a trained goalie between the pipes on Saturday.

"(I) got to the arena at 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., went right into the locker room, got my physical done, got my gloves on and hit the field running as best I could," said Kapinos.

The sixth-year pro fit right in. He led the Blast to another win. This time over Harrisburg.  

Kapinos was a free agent this winter after getting cut by Ontario before the season began. He said joining the Blast was a no-brainer.

"When Baltimore comes knocking at your door, so to speak, you can't really say no to a two-time defending champion. Great organization top to bottom," said Kapinos.

So what had Kapinos been doing before he got the call from the Blast? I'll tell you what he hadn't been doing. He hadn't been tending to goals. Instead, he'd been tending to chimneys.

"Think about Marry Poppins but without the singing and jumping from rooftop to rooftop," laughed Kapinos.

He was working for his family's chimney sweeping business back home.

"Cleaning chimneys and getting dirty. It's fun but it's also definitely manual labor, that's for sure," he added.

Kapinos' contract runs through the rest of the season. Whether he goes back to sweeping chimneys after that, he doesn't know. All he's thinking about now is a new kind of manual labor.

"I'm here to help as much as I can and bring that third championship in a row back to Baltimore," he said.

The Blast's next game is at Harrisburg on Friday. 

Their next home game is on Saturday, February 3 against Syracuse at SECU Arena.

Vanzela said he hopes to return to play before the season ends.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook

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