The Hamilton Nationals withstood a last minute barrage from the Ohio Machine and held on to win 13-12 in the YouTube Game of the Week on Saturday night.
With the win, the Nationals move to 8-3 on the season, while Ohio slips to 1-10. The Nationals were led on the night by the six-point performances of Joe Walters (3 goals, three assists) and Cody Jamieson (2 goals, 4 assists). Logan Schuss led the visitors with three goals and an assist.
In the last minute, Nationals goalie Dillon Ward stopped a two-point shot that would have given Ohio a one-goal lead, but an illegal contact foul was called on a Nationals defender during the clear and Ohio got the ball back. On the ensuing possession, Tucker Durkin made a game-saving check on a streaking Steele Stanwick, who had an otherwise clear path to the cage for what would have been the tying goal.
After Ohio’s Brian Phipps did well to deny two great Kevin Crowley opportunities, Walters got the scoring started with the first two goals of the game to give the Nationals an early 2-0 advantage.
The Nationals then got their second man-up goal of the game when Martin Cahill took a feed from Walters and ripped an outside shot past Phipps’ left shoulder. Cahill scored again on a nearly identical shot before an Ohio clearing error led to an open goal score for Kevin Cunningham to close out the first quarter at 5-0.
Crowley finally beat Phipps for the first goal of the second frame on a smooth behind the back goal. Logan Schuss finally solved Ward for Ohio’s first goal of the game, but Crowley answered shortly after with his second goal of the night to extend the Nationals lead to 7-1.
But the Machine would not go down without a fight, and rattled off four consecutive goals to reduce the Hamilton advantage to 7-5. Greg Downing scored two goals during the run, while longpole Kyle Hartzell and faceoff man Eric O’Brien added one apiece.
It seemed like Ohio would go into the intermission with all the momentum, but a Josh Amidon goal with 12.9 seconds remaining in the half pushed the lead to 8-5 and shifted the momentum back in Hamilton’s favor.
Hamilton started the second half similarly to how it started the game, scoring the first three goals of the quarter to extend the lead to 11-5. Jamieson assisted on all three goals, as Brodie Merrill, Walters and Cunningham all scored during the run.
Logan Schuss scored consecutive goals to make it 11-7 and keep the Machine in the game heading into the final quarter.
The final frame was the most exciting of the game, and it got started when Downing notched his third score of the game before Jamieson responded with a highlight-reel between the legs goal to push the lead back to four.
But Ohio still wouldn’t throw in the towel, as Steele Stanwick scored his only goal of the night on a beautiful behind the back shot. Jamieson once again stretched the lead back to four with his second goal, but Marcus Holman scored a two point goal and and assisted on a man-up goal by Joe Cummings to make it 13-12 and set up the thrilling finish.
Next, Hamilton will look to continue its winning ways in the Youtube game of the Week when the Boston Cannons come to town for a 7 PM faceoff. Ohio will try to get back in the win column when it hosts the Charlotte Hounds in another 7 PM Saturday matchup that will be broadcast regionally and will be available nationally on ESPN3.
Dillon Ward earned his first win in goal on the season, filling in for an ailing Brett Queener
With the win, the Nationals improve their record of wins in a season to eight
Crowley’s second goal of the game marked his 100th career point.
Even though he got another loss in goal, Phipps made several highlight-reel saves of his own, and was the only thing keeping the Machine in the game early on.