By Rachel Villari | 6/14/14 11:30 PM
Rivalry was renewed Saturday night as the Chesapeake Bayhawks broke their four-game losing streak with a close 16-15 victory over the visiting Boston Cannons. Both teams played their highest caliber of lacrosse exhibited yet this season in a back-and-forth game that ended up favoring the Bayhawks in the final minutes.
The teams wasted no time in getting down and dirty. Two minutes in, Ben Hunt of the Bayhawks separated the Cannons’ defense and scored low on an over the shoulder haul for his first of six for the evening. Kevin Buchanan of the Cannons immediately attempted to answer the tally with a diving goal that was waived off for a crease violation. Rookie Rob Emery was quick to help put Boston on the board soon after though, earning his first career goal on the power play as Jeff Reynolds served a technical foul for pushing Buchanan into the crease.
Hunt and Emery continued to battle, each scoring two of the first goals for their respective teams before half of the quarter was over. Cannon’s rookie Scott McWilliams was unable to shut down Hunt’s second goal, still adjusting to his short stick in the MLL. Drew Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf both contributed a back-netter apiece before Paul Rabil drew Chesapeake’s defense, allowing Buchanan to receive his pass and cut through traffic for his first of two goals within a minute.
Ending the first was Brendan Mundorf, scoring off of a pass from defenseman Nicky Polanco who delivered the ball after collecting it behind Bayhawks’ goaltender Kip Turner.
Hunt started off scoring in the second quarter completing a hat trick, regaining possession on a Buchanan turnover. Matt Mackrides netted his first, going 1-2—3 for the night, until Stephen Berger scored the first tally for the Cannons on a diving goal identical to Buchanan’s in the first, without the crease violation.
The game began to get heated as Polanco drew a five minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Berger and Buchanan wasted no time in taking advantage of the man-up situation, Berger netting his second of four tallies in the quarter and Buchanan earning his hat trick. Brent Adams then stepped up to deliver Boston their first 2-point goal of the season, followed by two more goals from Berger, sending the Cannons into halftime on top 11-7.
Chesapeake dominated the second half, only allowing Boston to score four more times the entire game as they worked to put away nine more goals. Hunt led the charge, completing a second hat trick, followed closely by Mundorf, who added two more points, including the game winning goal for a total of five making him worthy of the Coca Cola Player of the Game award.
Despite additional Cannons goals from Brodie Merrill and Rabil and a Berger goal in the last seconds of the game waived off for another crease violation, Boston was unable to end on the upper side of the ninth and final time the rivals tied, eventually falling 16-15.
Next week, Boston hosts the Ohio Machine at Harvard Stadium at 8:00 p.m. (ET), broadcast on Major League Lacrosse’s YouTube channel. Chesapeake will travel to Denver, looking for their second consecutive win of the season at 7:00 p.m. (ET), viewable on ESPN3.com and syndicated channels.
· Brendan Mundorf was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game for his five goals scored.
· Faceoff specialist Chris Eck of the Cannons did his part, winning 25 out of 34 battles at the ‘X’, helping to keep Boston atop the League leaderboard with a .569 faceoff winning percentage.
· Only one player on the Cannons had a single point, seven had multi-point games: Manny, Berger, Boyle, Buchanan, Adams, Emery, and Rabil.
· The highest scorers of the game were Bayhawks’ Ben Hunt with a career high eight points (6g, 2a) and Brendan Mundorf (5g), and Cannons’ Stephen Berger (4g) and Kevin Buchanan (3g, 1a).
· Boston served a total of six and a half penalty minutes and Chesapeake served a total of eight.
· The 2014 MLL All-Star Game, which will feature Team MLL vs. Team USA, is just around the corner on Thursday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Harvard Stadium in Boston, MA. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.comor by calling 617-746-9933.