BALTIMORE, JAN. 24 -- In a regular-season rematch of last year's box lacrosse championship, Mike Burke scored the tie-breaking goal with 4:48 left today as the Baltimore Thunder defeated the Washington Wave, 17-15, before 6,741 fans at the Baltimore Arena.

The Thunder, which defeated the Wave, 11-10, in the title game a year ago, won its first game of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League season and ended the Wave's two-game winning streak. The Wave will visit the first place New Jersey Saints on Tuesday at the Meadowlands.

The Wave played without its best all-around player, John Lamon, who was out of town on business. Thus, Washington struggled to mount a consistent offense and allowed many open shots.

Washington's Joe Gold scored a team-record five goals, four in the first half. Bill Wyker (two goals) was the only other Washington player to score more than one.

"It was a big factor playing without John," Gold said. "What it did was force Rick Sowell and me to take his role, and we're not used to it. We are basically offensive players and a few times we would take shots and not get back on defense. We gave them too many open shots on goal."

The Wave trailed by 13-10 late in the third quarter but scored four straight goals, including Gold's fifth of the game with 10:52 left, for a 14-13 lead. However, the Thunder (1-2) went ahead on goals by Butch Marino and Chuck Muir, who scored on the power play with 9:12 remaining.

Washington's Kevin Forrester tied it again with 7:59 to go, but Burke put a rebound past Wave goalkeeper Jim Beardmore from just outside the crease, giving the Thunder a 16-15 advantage. John Fay ended the scoring with a power play goal with 2:21 left.

"We've been playing well for three quarters this season, but we've been having problems with the fourth quarter," Thunder Coach John Stewart said.

"I thought we were going to wrap it up after we tied it and then went ahead in the last quarter," Gold said. "We said, 'Let's take it to them,' but then we gave them two stupid goals."

Eleven players scored for the Thunder including two apiece from Peter Jenkins, Jeff Peek, Marino, Muir, Mark Hahn and Jaime Smith.

Gold scored three times in the first period as the Wave took a 5-4 lead. But in the second quarter, Baltimore outshot the Wave, 19-10, and had a 9-7 halftime lead. John Stahl and Hahn scored in the last 1:19 to break a 7-all tie.

The Wave trailed, 13-10, late in the third quarter, but Emmett Printup and Gary Becker each scored in the last 14 seconds to get Washington within one.