By Sam Gest | 8/1/13 3:30 PM
In 2012, the Chesapeake Bayhawks capped off their Championship run by routing the Denver Outlaws 16-6 in the final game. The Chesapeake offense was nearly unstoppable, scoring 16 goals in both games. Attackman Ben Rubeor was Awarded Playoffs MVP for his stellar 8-goal weekend. But one performance that slipped under the radar that weekend was that of Chesapeake goalie Kip Turner, who stopped 63 percent of shots faced while only allowing 7.56 goals per game during Championship Weekend.
In 2013, much of the talk has once again centered around the Bayhawks attack of Rubeor, John Grant Jr, Drew Westervelt, and now Casey Powell. Meanwhile, Turner has been quietly enjoying what is arguably his best season to date. The former Virginia Cavalier is stopping an impressive 58 percent of shots, while allowing a career-best 10.4 goals per game, good for second in the league, behind only Denver netminder Jesse Schwartzman (9.52). His current goals against average of 10.4 would place him second in the all-time ranks for a single season, and knock his 2012 average of 10.51 down to third.
Turner started the 2013 season where he left off in in the 2012 championship, stopping 28 shots while only allowing eight goals in his first two games. The 2013 All-Star has slowed from that blistering pace, but he is as fundamentally sound a goalkeeper as you will find, and his consistency between the pipes is a huge reason why the Bayhawks are in a position to clinch a playoff berth with a win this weekend over the Rochester Rattlers.
One of the most impressive aspects of Turner’s game is that while he normally doesn’t make tons of show-stopping saves, he nearly always stops the shots he should. That hasn’t always been the case for him, as he allowed 11 two-point goals in 11 games in 2012. But he has improved dramatically in that category, and through 11 games this season, he has only let three deep-balls past him.
Turner has been in a great groove this season, and when he’s on his ‘A’ game, offenses have a very difficult time trying to solve him. If the ‘Hawks can clinch this weekend, look out. This is a very dangerous team, and if Turner can up his level of play even more for the playoffs again, they could be lifting Steinfeld Trophy for the second consecutive season.