ANNAPOLIS, MD - Backup goaltender Mike Gabel put forth one of the finest performances of his seven-year professional career to anchor a strong defensive effort as the Rochester Rattlers knocked the Chesapeake Bayhawks from the unbeaten ranks with a 12-8 victory in front of 7,853 fans on Saturday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Gabel, a backup appearing in just his fourth game for Rochester, recorded 27 saves to diffuse a Chesapeake offense that scored 23 goals against Ohio last Saturday night. The Bayhawks unleashed 54 shots, but 21 were not on goal while many others were right at Gabel, who was named the Bud Light Player of the Game.
“I thought the goalie beat us. He was outstanding. He was the best player on the field tonight and was definitely the difference,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said.
Adam Randdominated the face-offs for Chesapeake (2-1), winning 16 of 20. However, the offense wasn’t able to take advantage of that possession advantage and was held eight goals below its season average.
“Obviously, we struggled to score goals tonight. Gabel played great so nothing came easy,” Chesapeake attackman
Drew Westervelt said. “We were off kilter for some reason. We got a lot of opportunities and just could not capitalize. The defense played well tonight, but the offensive never got going.”
Steven Brooks scored two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, to lead Chesapeake. Rand and attackman
Ben Rubeor both contributed a goal and an assist for the Bayhawks, who hurt themselves by committing a considerable number of turnovers.
“We played from behind and maybe we pressed a little bit. We certainly should score more than eight goals,” Cottle said. “I thought we picked it up and played much better on offense in the second half.”
Chesapeake was without two starting close defensemen as
Michael Evans and
Barney Ehrmann were both unavailable due to illness. Defensive coordinator
Tony Resch was forced to move long stick midfielders
Dan Hostetler and
Bray Malphrus down to the close unit and replace them with
Jake Deane and
“We got off to a slow start defensively. We had a tough matchup with Crotty and he put us back on our heels early on,” Cottle said.
Joey Kempstarted in goal and made seven saves for Chesapeake.
Kip Turner, acquired through the Supplemental Draft during the offseason, made his Bayhawks debut in the second half and stopped four shots.
Ned Crotty, who did not play in Rochester’s 15-3 season-opening loss to Boston, scored three goals to lead the offense. Midfielder
Matt Striebel scored two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer. Short stick defensive midfielder
Steve DeNapoli, a former Bayhawk, scored two goals in transition for the Rattlers (1-1).
Rochester took its largest lead at 10-4 on a 2-point goal by midfielder
Tom Montelli with 6:25 elapsed in the third quarter. However, the Bayhawks battled back and got within 11-8 on a 2-pointer by midfielder
Kyle Dixon with 5:41 left in the game.
Chesapeake could get no closer and rookie Roy Lang scored his first career goal with one minute remaining to seal the victory for Rochester.
The Bayhawks return home on June 9
th to battle the Charlotte Hounds. Tickets can be purchased online at
www.thebayhawks.comor over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Reserve your seat today and see the Bayhawks battle at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this summer.
For the Bayhawks full schedule go to