Cambridge, Mass– Perennial All-Star attackman Ryan Boyle scored 1:26 into sudden death overtime to give the Boston Cannons a thrilling 15-14 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Harvard Stadium.
Boyle used an inside spin move to beat defenseman
Michael Evans from behind and fired a short shot past goalkeeper
Kip Turner to bring an end to a wild, back-and-forth affair. Boyle, the all-time leading scorer in Major League lacrosse with 410 career points, was named Player of the Game after scoring three goals and dishing off two assists.
Paul Rabil, a two-time MLL Most Valuable Player, totaled seven points on four goals (one of which was a 2-pointer) and two assists for Boston (1-3), which earned its first win of the season. Goalkeeper
Mike Gabel made 17 saves while
Chris Eck captured 20 of 30 face-offs for the Cannons.
“We lost a lot of face-offs early so we didn’t have the ball much. When we did get possession, we were kind of in hurry mode. We didn’t do a good job of giving our defense a rest by possessing the ball on offense,” Chesapeake head coach
Dave Cottle said.
John Grant Jr. scored five goals, almost all of the spectacular variety, to lead Chesapeake (3-1). Grant also had an assist to finish with six points in his second game since rejoining the Bayhawks following the indoor professional season.
“Junior’s been pretty consistent against Boston. He’s had some big games against them because he’s gotten a favorable matchup,” Cottle said. “One of the reasons we traded for Junior is because of his ability to break people down one-on-one, which he did successfully several times tonight.”
Steven Brooks scored two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, and dished off two assists to total five points for Chesapeake, which went just 1-for-5 on power play opportunities. Standout short stick defensive midfielder
Matt Abbott had a hat trick for the Bayhawks, who were beaten 37-24 on ground balls. Turner finished with 14 saves in a losing cause.
“We’ve got to fix the things that are wrong and we need to continue to improve,” Cottle said. “I thought we fought hard and played together. We’ll get better from this game because of the adversity that we had to fight against.”
Abbott and Grant scored consecutive goals to open the second period to give Chesapeake its first lead at 5-4. However, Boyle scored two goals while Rabil had two assists during a 4-2 run that put Boston back ahead 8-7 at halftime.
It was a similar story in the third quarter as Grant scored unassisted on the power play and Abbott scored off an assist from midfielder
Kyle Dixon to put the Bayhawks back up 9-8. Once again, Boston responded with Rabil scoring two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, to key a 4-0 run that put the home team on top 12-9.
Chesapeake closed the third stanza strong as Grant fed midfielder
Matt Mackrides for a goal and Brooks fired in his first 2-pointer of the season to tie the contest at 12.
After three quarters of offensive fireworks, the game suddenly turned into a defensive struggle in the final frame. Both teams tightened up defensively and the game turned into more of a half-field affair as neither side scored for the first 11 minutes of the fourth period.
Mike Stone finally broke the scoreless stretch, taking a beautiful feed from Boyle and firing in a short shot from the crease to put Boston ahead 13-12. However, Grant provided a quick answer, beating his defender with a sweet swim move and scoring while diving into the crease to retie the score just 48 seconds later.
Grant then put an exclamation point on a phenomenal night with an amazing behind-the-back goal as the Bayhawks went ahead 14-13 with 2:28 remaining. However, Rabil responded 1:17 later, executing a textbook inside roll and firing a shot from the doorstep to forge the tenth tie of the contest.
Chesapeake held for the last shot and Grant got a great opportunity from on top of the crease, but his shot was wide and that brought about the overtime session.
Ben Rubeor scored one goal for the Bayhawks, extending his streak of putting up at least one point to 33 consecutive games.