The Chesapeake Bayhawks (3-6) had a revitalizing 18-11 win over the Florida Launch (4-5) after a rough 2-6 start to the season.
Florida drew first blood with a goal from Stephen Keogh off a pass from Chazz Woodson. That goal would prove to be it for the Launch for the rest of the first quarter as Chesapeake gained control. While the Bayhawks only scored two (Joe Walters and Ben Hunt) in the first quarter, the surge that came from them in the middle two quarters was too much for the Launch to recover from.
Unlike last time the two teams met, Chesapeake took the reigns in the second quarter and out-scored Florida by double; netting six to the Launch’s three. Rookie, Brandon Benn opened up the scoring for the Bayhawks in the second quarter. Walters stole the show though, scoring three of the six goals scored in the quarter and assisting Ben Rubeor’s goal. Stephen Keogh, Kieran McArdle and Roman Lao-Gosney scored for the Launch but were held scoreless for nearly 12 minutes after the goal from Lao-Gosney.
Chesapeake repeated their second quarter performance in the third quarter with seven goals while holding the Launch to just three yet again. Peet Poillon scored first for the Bayhawks while Benn followed suit two minutes later to put the Bayhawks up 10-5. Chesapeake had a solid lead at 14-5 when Florida started to put the pieces together. Keogh began the shift in tides with a goal at the 3:22 mark at the end of the third quarter. Chesapeake was able to sneak in one more before the quarter ended but Florida answered quickly to enter the fourth down, 15-7.
Florida came out with a flash in the fourth and quickly cut the lead to 15-11 and put the Bayhawks on edge. Casey Powell, who leads the league in career points, netted two of the five goals scored while McArdle, Kevin Crowley, and Joe Cinosky contributed one each. A seven minute lull of no scoring though, between McArdle’s goal and Powell’s second goal in the streak, made the Launch’s job that much harder. An open net 2-pointer from Matt Mackrides put the last nail in the coffin for the Launch as Chesapeake widened the gap from four to six with only two minutes left in the game.
Joe Walters, who just came off an impressive All-Star Game performance, earned Coca-Cola Player of the Game honors after dominating with four goals and four assists. Mackrides had six points with three assists, a two-pointer and a goal. Tyler Fiorito, who is playing in place of an injured Kip Turner, made 14 saves on 25 shots. Stephen Robarge, who has struggled at the X so far this season, came away with 18 wins on 31 attempts. McArdle and Powell led the Launch with four points each while Brett Queener made nine saves on 22 shots.
Both teams return to play next week. Florida will be on the road for a Thursday night game in New York against the Lizards. The game will be live on ESPN3 at 7:30pm ET. Chesapeake will be on the road for the third week in a row at Ohio for a Fourth of July game that will be live on CBS Sports Network at 4pm ET.
-The two teams split the series and each suffered a home loss from the other
-Chesapeake, who leads the league in penalty minutes, did not foul once in the second of third quarters of the game
-Walters split his points with four goals and four assists
-11 of the 17 goals from the Bayhawks were assisted