HAMILTON, Ontario, Canada – After being held to a season-low six goals in their 12-8 loss against Rochester last week, the Chesapeake Bayhawks got back to their winning formula by exploding for 19 goals en route to a 20-7 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Hamilton Nationals (0-3) at Robert Joyce Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Midfielder Michael Kimmel led the Bayhawks to the victory by scoring a season-high six goals, including a two-point marker, with an assist en route to Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors.
Led by a goal and two assists from attackman John Grant, Jr., the Bayhawks sprinted out to a 7-0 lead in the first 16 minutes of the game. Midfielder Ben Hunt also contributed a pair of goals during the run as Chesapeake held Hamilton scoreless for the first 20 minutes of the game.
Trailing by 7-0, midfielders Kevin Crowley and David Earl scored back-to-back goals to trim the deficit to 7-2. But, Kimmel answered with his second goal of the game with 7:27 left in the first half. Attackman Casey Powell followed by scoring the 200th goal of his MLL career, an unassisted marker with 5:30 left in the period that narrowed the gap to 8-3.
The teams traded goals before attackman Danny Glading scored off a feed from attackman Drew Westervelt with one second left in the first half, giving Chesapeake a 10-4 advantage at the intermission.
After each team scored a pair of goals to open the third quarter, Hunt ignited a five-goal Chesapeake run by scoring off a feed from Grant with 1:15 remaining in the stanza. Kimmel scored two of his goals during the run that upped the Chesapeake advantage to 17-6.
Rookie midfielder Kiel Matisz ended the Bayhawks' run by scoring the first goal of his MLL career off a feed from Jeremy Thompson with 4:53 left.
However, the Bayhawks secured the victory with two goals in the final four minutes, including a two-point tally from Kimmel.
While Kimmel paced the Bayhawks with his eight-point effort, Grant contributed two goals with four assists in his Chesapeake debut. Goalkeeper Kip Turner made seven saves for the Bayhawks, who limited Hamilton to just 31 shots.
Crowley led the Nationals with two goals and an assist while Earl posted a two-goal effort.
Notes: Kimmel had been held to just three goals in the Bayhawks' first three games this season before his six-goal performance against Hamilton on Friday ... The game drew a crowd of 3,751 fans at Robert Joyce Stadium ... Midfielder Kyle Dixon was held without a point for the first time this season ... He had tallied 15 points in the Bayhawks' first three games ... Dixon was also limited to just two shots ... The Bayhawks lead the MLL with nine two-point goals.