8/25/12 10:00 PM
Turner Stones Cannons with 14 Saves as Bayhawks Advance to Championship
BOSTON, MA- Attackman Ben Rubeor fired in a season-high six goals while goalkeeper Kip Turner anchored a dominating defensive effort with 14 saves as the second-seeded Chesapeake Bayhawks beat the Boston Cannons, 16-10, in Major League Lacrosse semifinals before a crowd of 8,090 at Harvard Stadium.
Rubeor netted five of his goals in the second half as the Bayhawks broke open a back-and-forth affair by outscoring the host team 7-2. Turner got hot and made 10 of his saves after intermission for Chesapeake, which completely shut down a potent Boston offense.
“Today was a total team effort. We had a game plan that we thought would slow them down and we executed it really well,” All-MLL defenseman Michael Evans said. “The coaching staff emphasized winning our individual matchups and I thought we were able to do that. Kip Turner is the backbone of our defense and he was awesome today.”
Evans shut out All-MLL attackman Ryan Boyle, who had two goals and six assists to lead Boston to a 16-13 victory over Chesapeake on July 28th. Long stick midfielder Michael Simon limited Paul Rabil, the Offensive Player of the Year, to just two assists.
“Last time against Boston, we didn’t win any of the individual matchups. This time, Michael Evans won the Ryan Boyle matchup, Michael Simon fought off Paul Rabil, Jeff Reynolds won some matchups with Kevin Buchanan,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. “We didn’t have to slide as much as we did in the last game and I thought that was the difference.”
All-MLL midfielder Kyle Dixon scored three goals, two of which were 2-pointers, and also had an assist in totaling six points for Chesapeake (11-4), which will take on top-seeded Denver (12-3) in Sunday afternoon’s (3 p.m.) championship game. Attackman John Grant Jr. totaled two goals and two assists for the Bayhawks, who will be seeking the fourth title in franchise history.
Denver advanced by beating Long Island, 13-12, closing the game on a 10-0 run after falling behind 12-3. “Denver was the best team in the regular season and they had a quality comeback today against Long Island,” Cottle said. “Now we have to come up with a game plan to slow (the Outlaws) down. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team who have won championships and they know how to prepare for a big game.”
Midfielder Mike Stone totaled two goals and two assists as third-seeded Boston raced out to a 5-1 lead. Attackman Kevin Buchanan had a goal and an assist during the early run. “I thought the play early was even, but they made their shots and we missed ours,” Cottle said.
Turner did not make a single save in the first quarter, but found his footing and stopped four shots in the second quarter. The sixth-year professional was downright spectacular in the second half, frustrating the Cannons by stabbing point-blank or one-on-one shots. Cottle was thankful afterward that he didn’t pull the trigger on inserting backup T.C. DiBartolo.
“Honestly, after the first quarter I said to myself if Kip doesn’t make a save I’m going to go to T.C. Then he made a big save to start the second quarter and a big save to end the second quarter and I think that settled him down,” Cottle said. “This was a tough game for Kip coming back and playing against his old team. Then he got off to a bad start, but it shows the character he has.”
Dixon began the Chesapeake comeback with 2:33 left in the first quarter when he rebounded his own saved shot by batting the ball back into the net. Dixon then cranked in two consecutive 2-point goals just 48 seconds apart to cap a strong second quarter for the Bayhawks. Grant had a goal and an assist as Chesapeake outscored Boston 7-3 during the period. Dixon’s personal four-point swing gave the visitors a 9-8 halftime lead.
“We felt all season long that two was the key to victory for us. We have guys that can shoot it and we’re not hesitant to take them,” Cottle said. “Kyle Dixon has been a highly motivated player for us this year. He’s been as good a middie as there is in this league. He’s made big-time plays for us all season and did so again today.”
Rubeor scored three straight goals to close the third quarter as Chesapeake took a 12-9 lead going into the final frame. Rubeor scored two more goals in the fourth quarter, ending a 4-0 run that gave the Bayhawks a commanding 16-9 lead with 7:17 remaining.
“Benny did a great job of cutting to the ball and also fading away from the ball. He got a couple on cuts and a couple on fades,” Cottle said. “Ben is one of those intangible guys who plays with great heart and effort. He really stepped up today.”
Cottle had a tough decision to make with regard to which face-off specialist to activate. He went with veteran Alex Smith because he’s fared better over the years against Boston’s Chris Eck, the league’s best this season. Eck didn’t play due to an injury and Smith wound up beating Boston backup John Ortolani, 16-12. Smith, who sat out almost the entire season while recovering from elbow surgery, won 13 of 17 draws in the first half before tiring.
“I think Alex was a dominating factor. When we weren’t playing well offensively, he kept getting us the ball back over and over again. I thought Alex was a real key to the game,” Cottle said.
The Bayhawks have released 2013 Season Tickets to the public. Call your ticket representative and reserve your seat today and see the Bayhawks battle at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this summer.
|08/30/2012||Rubeor Shines at 2012 MLL Championship Weekend|
|08/23/2012||Chesapeake Renews Rivalry with Boston at Champ Weekend|