The Chesapeake Bayhawks defended their home turf in Annapolis this weekend, defeating the red-hot Boston Cannons on Thursday night by a score of 13-12 in overtime. The win moves the Bayhawks to 7-4 on the season and drops the Cannons to 5-6—their first loss since new head coach John Tucker took over five weeks ago.
The game started off slow, with the first goal coming over ten minutes into the contest from Ryan Boyle. Defense and goaltending were the story of the first quarter, highlighted by Cannons’ goalie Jordan Burke who was great between the pipes, making eight saves on eight shots in the quarter. Cannons’ attackman Matt Poskay intercepted a pass on the crease and put it in for what looked like a goal halfway through the quarter, but Chesapeake Coach, Dave Cottle, challenged the call and it was overturned, with video evidence confirming Poskay’s foot was in the crease; the period ended with Boston leading one to nothing.
Quarter number two got off to a much quicker start and saw many more goals than the first period. Chesapeake exploded out of the gate with goals from Casey Powell, Matt Abbott, and John Grant Jr. to take a 3-1 lead just three and a half minutes into the quarter. Powell’s goal was his first of the season, as it was his season debut, and also was his 400th MLL point. Knowing a win was critical for keeping their playoff hopes strong, Boston responded, rattling off five straight goals in eight minutes from Kevin Buchanan—the All Star Game Freestyle Champion—Matt Poskay, Paul Rabil, Stephen Berger and Mike Stone. The Cannons took the lead into the locker room, 6-3.
Much like the second, the third quarter was a tale of two runs. Chesapeake scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of the quarter. Ben Hunt, Powell, Abbott, and Rubeor’s two goals put the Bayhawks back in front, 8-6. Boston came back in the final five minutes of the period with goals from Brian Farrell, Rabil, and Poskay to retake the lead 9-8. They kept the lead heading into the fourth after Grant Jr.’s buzzer beater was ruled to have crossed the goal line after time expired.
There was plenty of scoring in the fourth as well. Cannons rookie Will Manny scored to increase the Cannon’s lead to two, but Grant Jr. and Rubeor scored two quick ones to even things at ten a piece. Boston would score two more from Rabil and Poskay giving them another two point lead, but Drew Westervelt scored his first of the night to bring the home team back within one with a few minutes to play. With only ten seconds left in the contest and Boston leading by one, it looked as if the Cannons would be moving on in a close one—but, with five seconds left, in his season debut, Casey Powell beat Jordan Burke on an unassisted goal to tie things up at 12 and force overtime.
Shortly into the overtime period, Ryan Boyle committed an illegal procedure, which opened the door for the Bayhawks. In the powerplay, Hunt assisted Westervelt on the game winner, giving the Cannons their first loss in four weeks.
The Player of the Game award went to Casey Powell in his first game back this season. Powell seemed to pick up right where he left off, scoring three goals and assisting on another. Powell’s first goal was an incredible individual milestone; it was his 400th Major League Lacrosse point, making him only the second player to ever accomplish that—the other being Ryan Boyle of the Cannons. Powell finished the game with 403 career points, and Boyle’s three points tonight pushed him to 415. Powell’s biggest goal however, came on his fourth goal of the night—his 403rdcareer point—when he tied the game up with five seconds left in regulation to send the game to extra time where his Bayhawks would win it. Powell’s return couldn’t have come at a better time; the Bayhawks look great and seem to be in excellent shape to make a run for the championship in Philadelphia a few weeks from now.
Next week the Bayhawks head to Denver to face the undefeated Outlaws for a Saturday, July 27, afternoon matchup. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 2:00p.m. (ET). Boston travels to Hamilton to face the Nationals on the same night. The game, between two likely playoff teams, can be seen live on the league’s YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/mll.
· Casey Powell played in his first game of the season, scoring 3 goals and assisting on another
· Powell’s first quarter goal gave him 400 career points, making him only the second ever to do so; he finished with 403 points, second on the all-time career points list, trailing only Ryan Boyle
· Cannons’ goalie Jordan Burke recorded 17 saves on 30 shots
· Bayhawks’ goalie Kip Turner recorded 15 saves on 27 shots
· Paul Rabil now leads the MLL in points (43) and is third in goals (26)
· Four players had hat tricks tonight, Boston’s Matt Poskay and Paul Rabil and Chesapeake’s Ben Rubeor and Casey Powell
· This was the Bayhawks’ fifth game decided by one point and their first OT win of the season
· MVP: Casey Powell
· ATTENDANCE: 8,691