HAMILTON, ON- The Hamilton Nationals continued their win streak and served the Charlotte Hounds their second straight loss with a final score of 16-15 in the first overtime play of the season on Friday morning. Player of the Game Matt Dolente, gave Hamilton an extra push winning the faceoff in overtime and scoring just seven seconds in to give the Nationals their third win of the season.
Hamilton ran away with the early lead, scoring quickly in the first quarter after Kevin Cunningham, Roy Lang and Kevin Crowley put together a string of goals, going up 3-0. Charlotte struggled to win faceoffs to start the game but midfielder Tim Fallon’s first faceoff win did give the Hounds their first goal of the game.
Down 5-2 heading into the second quarter the Hounds put together an impressive set of goals tying it up at six thanks to a strong effort by Eric Lusby. After six unanswered goals, Charlotte came from behind to take the lead 9-6, going nearly 12 minutes without allowing a Hamilton goal.
The Nationals trailed Charlotte 9-8 to end the first half. However, that did not last long with Joe Walters producing his second goal of the game, tying it up in his season debut. Stephen Keogh then gave the Nationals the advantage completing a hat trick in the third. Keogh would end the game as Hamilton’s leading scorer with four goals.
The Nationals put up a five-goal run, to end the third quarter and take a 2 point lead over the Hounds. Charlotte worked hard to break down Hamilton in the fourth quarter with an effort from Peet Poillon and his well-played 2-point goal in a man-up situation. Jovan Miller and Casey Cittadino put up back-to-back goals to come back from a two point deficit to end regulation tied at 15.
Quick work from Dolente ended the game just seven seconds into overtime, winning the faceoff and running the ball down the field giving the Nats their third straight win and best season-opening record in franchise history.
Notes from the game:
The Hounds now move to 1-3, while the Nationals are still undefeated at 3-0
The Nationals activated several players before Friday’s game including first round draft pick, Tucker Durkin, defenseman Reid Acton, midfielder Joe Walters, and attackmen Keogh and Cody Jamieson. Walters made himself known in his return with a hat trick and an assist to Keogh, a powerful duo that is expected to make a difference for Hamilton throughout the season.
Charlotte also added the number eight overall draft pick, rookie, Mike Sawyer to their roster for the matchup. Sawyer made himself known slashing one goal and two assists.
Hamilton’s Brett Queener did not see any playing time after a knee injury in Week 3, but goalies Evan Kirk and Brent Herbst split time and totaled 10 saves for the Nationals.
Charlotte’s own Adam Ghitelman put up seven very timely saves in an attempt to stop the scoring efforts of Crowley and Dolente.
Hamilton’s Brodie Merrill passed a milestone, playing his 50th game in a Nationals uniform, a franchise record.
Next week the Hounds will look to regroup and recharge during their Memorial Day weekend, and an off-week. Hamilton will head to Ohio for the only match up of Week 5 and will look to continue their winning ways against the Ohio Machine on Thursday, May 3.