Turner Helps Bayhawks Stay Step Ahead Cannons
from press release
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Goalkeeper Kip Turner made 17 saves while midfielder Michael Kimmel totaled five points to lift the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a thrilling 14-13 victory over the Boston Cannons in a showdown between the last two Major League Lacrosse champions.
Midfielder Kyle Dixon and attackman John Grant, Jr. contributed four points apiece for Chesapeake, which improved its record to 7-1 and solidified its hold on first place in the MLL. Midfielder Steven Brooks and attackman Drew Westervelt both had three points for the Bayhawks, who have won five straight.
"Our guys fought and battled and found a way to win another one-goal game," said Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle, whose squad edged Hamilton 16-15 last week. "It's a great win for us and really separates us from the pack."
A raucous crowd of 10,126 turned out at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night to see a back-and-forth contest that wasn't decided until the final seconds. Kimmel scored three goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, and also dished off an assist to lead Chesapeake, which led from start to finish. Star midfielder Paul Rabil piled up seven points for Boston (5-3), which pulled within one goal on six occasions, but never could tie or take the lead.
"I was seeing the ball well and I was focused," said Turner, who had his highest number of saves in four games with the Bayhawks and was also named Bud Light MVP. "The defense really did its job. They forced a lot of outside shots and gave me a chance to see the ball. Nothing was right on top of me."
Grant and Kimmel both had a goal and an assist as Chesapeake raced out to a 4-0 lead with 4:26 remaining in the first quarter. Grant assisted Westervelt on a power play goal then scored himself off a feed from Kimmel, who two minutes later fired in a 2-pointer.
Attackman Kevin Buchanan scored unassisted while Rabil fired in his first 2-pointer less than a minute later as Boston pulled within 4-3 after one period. Dixon sandwiched a pair of 2-pointers around one by Rabil to account for all the scoring in the second as Chesapeake took an 8-5 halftime lead.
Attackman Ryan Boyle scored two straight unassisted goals to start the third quarter as Boston pulled within one for the third time in the game. It went back-and-forth the next eight minutes with Boston answering every Chesapeake score to keep it a one-goal game at 9-8 and then 10-9. However, Grant and Brooks closed the quarter with back-to-back unassisted goals to give the Bayhawks a 12-9 advantage going into the fourth frame.
Attackman Matt Poskay scored the first goal of the fourth quarter to get Boston within 12-10, but midfielder Ben Rubeor and Kimmel answered with unassisted goals as Chesapeake equaled its largest lead of the game at 14-10 at the 10:08 mark. However, just as it looked like the home team was going to pull away, Boston midfielder Patrick Heim fired in the sixth 2-pointer of the contest to cut the visitor's deficit to 14-12.
Rabil then delivered his third assist of the game to set up the first career goal of fellow Johns Hopkins graduate Chris Boland as Boston pulled within one for the sixth time in the game, 14-13 with 6:05 remaining. The Cannons had several chances to tie the game, but Turner made six saves in the final five minutes.
Turner made two saves on one possession then stopped a hard shot by Rabil and stuffed a point-blank opportunity by Poskay on an extra man situation. Turner was out of the goal when the Bayhawks committed a turnover on a clear, but sprinted back just in time to snare a shot by Buchanan from the top of the arc with 37 seconds to go. Chesapeake then cleared the ball and salted away the remaining time to finish 3-0 on its current home stand.
"It was just a reactive type of play," Turner said of his brilliant save of Buchanan's blast. "I saw the ball bounce right to Buchanan and was like 'Oh man, I've got to get back.' I saw him winding up and knew I had to rush."
Goalie Jordan Burke was also outstanding and finished with 13 saves for Boston, which fell into a tie for third place with Denver (5-3). Long Island, which has also won five straight, took over second by beating Denver on Saturday night.
BAYHAWKS BITS: Dixon's two 2-pointers gave him 10 for the season and 42 for his career. Dixon has three of the top five single-season outputs for 2-pointers, having netted 11 in 2010 and 10 in 2009. Rubeor has now scored a point in 23 straight games, the longest active streak on the Bayhawks and among the best in the MLL.