A berth in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League championship game is at stake when the Washington Wave meets the New Jersey Saints tonight at the Meadowlands at 7:30.

The teams are tied for first place with 5-2 records and the winner receives an automatic berth in the March 19 title game. The loser will play host to a playoff game March 6 against the Philadelphia Wings (3-5), who defeated the Baltimore Thunder (2-6), 17-9, yesterday.

"We are ready to go," Wave Coach Glenn Little said. "If this week's practices are any indication of how we are going to play, I think we're in great shape."

Washington has won three straight games, two in sudden-death overtime. When the Saints visited Capital Centre three weeks ago, Joe Gold scored in overtime for a 17-16 Washington victory.

But, in that game, the Wave squandered a six-goal lead in the second half. Little wants to make sure his team doesn't collapse again.

"We have to run-and-gun and run them to death," Little said. "We have to run more often than set up the offense. If we can do that, I think we have a great chance to beat them up there."

In their first meeting -- at the Meadowlands -- the Saints won, 25-15. It was the most goals scored by a team in the league's two-year history.

Gold leads the league in goals (17), assists (11) and points (28). His brother, Mark, has 15 goals and two assists for the Wave. Pat O'Conner is next with 12 goals and John Lamon has 11.