By Hounds PR | 8/9/14 11:05 PM
The Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night dropped their season finale to the Chesapeake Bayhawks by a score of 19-13. It marked the Hounds’ fifth straight loss and kept the team winless on the road in 2014. With the win, the Bayhawks move to 5-9 on the season while the Hounds fall to 4-10. Drew Westervelt was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game for his six point (3g, 3a) performance. Meanwhile, the Hounds were led by Matt Danowski, who had three goals including a 2-pointer.
Ben Hunt scored off the game’s opening faceoff, starting a four-goal run for the Bayhawks that also featured Matt Mackrides, Westervelt and Jack Rice. It took almost 13 minutes for the Hounds to get on the board. Danowski was working behind the cage, faked a pass but shot low and scored, cutting the Bayhawks lead to three. The Hounds came away with the ensuing faceoff, but immediately turned the ball over and the Bayhawks capitalized with a goal from Ben Rubeor. Another late tally from Joe Walters put the Bayhawks in front 6-1 after one quarter.
Momentum stayed with the home team at the start of the second, as Westervelt scored from long range just 1:16 into the quarter. But less than a minute later, Mike Sawyer found Danowski behind the cage. He turned the corner and buried his shot to pull the Hounds within five, 7-2. The Hounds then mistakenly left Hunt open on the perimeter, where he ripped an easy goal to put the Bayhawks up 8-2. Minutes later Danowski took a shot through traffic, which deflected off the stick of Ryan Young and past Bayhawks goalie Tyler Fiorito into the net. The goal was credited as a 2-pointer, pulling the Hounds back within 8-4. The Bayhawks scored twice more before Kevin Drew tallied his first of the night, making it a 10-5 game. But Jesse Bernhardt grabbed the groundball off the ensuing faceoff and ripped a shot from just inside the 2-point arc to keep the Bayhawks in front 11-5. Matt Abbott scored on the run in the final seconds, building the Bayhawks lead to 12-5 at the half.
Both teams made goalie changes to start to the third quarter. The Bayhawks replace Fiorito (14 saves on 18 shot) with rookie Jack Runkel, while the Hounds replaced Adam Ghitelman (nine saves on 21 shots) with rookie Pierce Bassett. The Hounds won the opening faceoff, setting up a goal from Josh Hawkins to cut the Bayhawks lead to six. But almost six minutes later, Danowski was hit with two penalties for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. Walters found Westervelt on the doorstep to convert on the man-up and move the home team in front 13-6. The Bayhawks scored two more before Ryan Flanagan grabbed a loose ball and took it straight to the cage, making the score 15-7. The next three straight goals went in favor of the Bayhawks, but Drew then got space to circle the cage and scored his second of the night. Mackrides followed up with his second of the night to move the Bayhawks in front 19-8 after three.
In a moral victory, the Hounds held the Bayhawks scoreless in the final quarter, while tallying five more goals of their own. Sawyer got things started with a goal from long range, and Young followed with a power-play goal after a slashing call on Brian Spallina. Jake Tripucka and Joe Cummings each found the back of the net before Michael Erhardt scored his first career MLL goal, bringing the final to 19-13.
The MLL postseason will begin Aug. 16 with two semifinal games. The top-ranked Rattlers will host the fourth-place Ohio Machine in Rochester at 3:30pm ET, while the third-seeded N.Y. Lizards will travel to Denver to face the second-seeded Outlaws at 5:30pm ET. Both games will be featured live on CBS Sports Network.