The Florida Launch (3-1) had a tight 15-12 win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (1-3) after losing their nine goal lead in the third quarter. Attackman Casey Powell was instrumental in helping the Launch’s victory with a seven-point game. With the seven points on the night, the MLL veteran moves back into first place for All-Time points scored with 428, unseating Boston’s Ryan Boyle who took the crown from Powell in the middle of 2013.
The game started out quick with a Chesapeake goal from Steven Brooks at the 11:28 mark. After nearly six and a half minutes of no scoring from either sides, Florida’s Garrett Thul and Kieran McArdle put two quick ones in the back of the net giving the Launch their first ever lead on the road. However, Brendan Mundorf answered for the Bayhawks less than two minutes later to tie the game at the end of the first quarter at 2-2.
Florida took advantage of the second quarter notching five goals to Chesapeake’s two. The Launch started the quarter off quick with a goal from McArdle again at the 13:52 mark off a feed from Casey Powell. Powell assisted Kevin Crowley a minute later to put Florida ahead 4-2. Chesapeake answered almost 3 minutes later with an unassisted goal from Steven Brooks. Florida answered with two more of their own from rookies Chris LaPierre and McArdle. Peet Poillon answered with a goal of his own at the 3:25 mark to bring the score within two only to have Powell score a minute and a half later ending the third quarter with Florida up 7-4.
Florida came back out after halftime and ran away with the quarter. Scoring six unanswered goals in the third quarter, the Launch kept Chesapeake scoreless for over 17 minutes. McArdle, Crowley, Kevin Cunningham, and Josh Amidon had one goal each while Thul contributed two goals to the Florida scoring streak. Powell’s assist on Thul’s goal puts him first in the league for most career points at 429. Mundorf broke the drought for Chesapeake at a minute and a half left in the third which then carried the Bayhawks into the fourth.
While the third quarter was dominated by the Launch, Chesapeake took the reins in the fourth and went on a six goal streak to bring them back from a 13-4 deficit. Ben Rubeor started the quarter off with two goals less than two minutes apart. Jesse Bernhardt then ran the ball down from the denfensive end and found the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Matt Mackrides scored the last goal of Chesapeake’s run. McArdle broke the Bayhawks streak with 2:31 left in the game. Brooks, who had been quiet since the first half scored a huge two-point goal off an assist from Drew Westervelt to put the Bayhawks back in the game with 1:43 to go. Florida however, wasn’t about to let Brooks’ goal go unanswered and Mario Ventiquattro scored the last goal of the game with 45 seconds left making the final 15-12.
Powell and McArdle dominated the game with a combined total of 13 points. Powell had one goal and six assists while McArdle had five goals and one assist. Brett Queener made 19 saves on 30 shots for Florida while Kip Turner had 10 saves on 25 shots for Chesapeake. Chris Mattes won 15 of the 29 faceoffs taken.
Both teams have Memorial Day weekend off. The teams will return to action the following week. Chesapeake will return on Saturday, May 31
st when they host the Ohio Machine at 7pm. The game can be found on CBS Sports Network. Florida will be traveling to Rochester for a 1pm game that will air on ESPN3 as well as regional channels as they try to improve to 4-1.
-Casey Powell surpassed Ryan Boyle (BOS) for most career points at 428 and was awarded Coca-Cola Player of the Game honors
-This was the first road win for the Florida Launch
-McArdle scored 5 goals for the Launch in only his second game in the league
-Florida went on a seven goal scoring streak only to be answered by a six goal scoring streak from Chesapeake