7/18/13 10:30 PM
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Major League Lacrosse legend Casey Powell made a spectacular season debut, totaling four points on three goals and an assist to lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a thrilling 13-12 overtime victory over the Boston Cannons at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Attackman Drew Westervelt scored the game-winning goal at the 6:46 mark of the extra session for Chesapeake (7-4), which has won three straight games. Westervelt took a pass from midfielder Ben Hunt and whipped a sidearm shot into the net to give the Bayhawks their second straight one-goal win.
“We had been losing these one-goal games and knew we had to turn that around. I think everyone realizes it’s getting late in the season and it’s time to turn it up a notch,” Westervelt said. “This is definitely a huge win for the team. Boston is a great team and we had to really battle the whole way, so to come out on top in a game like this is a big lift.”
Both teams had two possessions in overtime before Chesapeake got the ball back and immediately drew a penalty on Boston. The Bayhawks worked the ball quickly with midfielder Kyle Dixon feeding Hunt, who wasted no time in dishing off to Westervelt. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound veteran didn’t like his shooting angle so he stepped further to the front of the goal and wrapped a sidearm shot around the helmet of an oncoming defenseman.
“It was frustrating shooting tonight because I just wasn’t hitting the cage,” said Westervelt, a five-time All-Star selection. “Hunt gave me a great one more (pass), but the defenseman was in my shooting lane. I kind of took a step to the side and shot it right off his body.”
Attackman Ben Rubeor scored three goals and assisted another for Chesapeake, which holds sole possession of third place in the MLL standings and owns the tiebreaker over second place Hamilton and fourth place Boston. Attackman John Grant Jr. totaled two goals and an assist for the Bayhawks, who had suffered three overtime losses previously this season.
“This is a big-time win and a real confidence-boost because of the way we did it,” Hunt said. “For us to show the type of heart and perseverance we did tonight to keep coming back time after time… it just shows a ton of character.”
Powell made his Bayhawks’ debut and showed he hasn’t lost a step despite playing just five regular season games since 2009. Powell, the league’s all-time leading scorer with 403 career points, forced the overtime period with an incredible individual move.
Trailing 12-11 with time winding down, the Bayhawks got the ball back when rookie defenseman Jesse Bernhardt intercepted a pass. Following a timeout, head coach Dave Cottle put the ball in the stick of Powell. Flags flew as Boston defensemanBrian Farrell used an illegal body check to knock Powell to the ground.
Remarkably, Powell did a barrel roll without losing possession of the ball then regained his footing and drove aggressively to the goal. A defenseman and the goalie closed on Powell, who hearkened back to his Syracuse University days by diving headlong to the front of the cage and flipping a shot into the empty net to tie the score.
“I saw out of the corner of my eye that I drew a penalty, but I knew there was under 10 seconds so we probably wouldn’t be able to get a great shot off on man up,” Powell said. “I was able to hang onto the ball when I rolled. When I popped up, I didn’t see anyone there so I went to the goal and turned the corner. I didn’t see the ball go in, but I heard that it trickled into the corner.”
Midfielder Paul Rabil and attackman Matt Poskay both had a hat trick for Boston (5-6), which had a four-game winning streak snapped.
“This is a great, great win for the guys. Casey Powell makes an unbelievable play to tie it up then Drew Westervelt comes through with the big goal in overtime,” head coach Dave Cottle said. “This is big because if you get to eight wins you are probably in Championship Weekend. It also gives us the head-to-head tiebreaker with Boston, which proved crucial at the end.”
It was a defensive struggle in the first quarter with Boston attackman Ryan Boyle scoring the lone goal unassisted. Chesapeake came out strong to start the second quarter, scoring three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. Powell got things started with his first goal as a Bayhawk, spinning and firing an underhanded crank shot into the net. Abbott scored on a difficult shot while diving to the crease and Grant used a bull dodge to get free for a goal that he bounced in through the five-hole of goalieJordan Burke.
Boston then closed the second stanza with a 5-0 run that featured a goal and an assist from midfielderMike Stone and gave the visitors a 6-3 halftime lead.
Chesapeake turned the tables in a big way after intermission, opening the third period with five straight goals to seize an 8-6 lead. Rubeor scored off a feed from fellow attackman Drew Westervelt and unassisted on a strong driving move while Powell netted a goal on a nifty no-look pass after taking an over-the-shoulder pass from Grant. However, Boston closed the third frame with three straight goals to grab back a 9-8 advantage.
Trailing 10-8 early in the fourth quarter, Chesapeake tied the game with a pair of point-blank shots. Grant scored on a power play by sticking the ball into the top corner while Powell made another spectacular play by flipping a pinpoint behind-the-back pass to Rubeor for an easy goal from the crease.
Rabil and Poskay scored consecutive goals to put Boston back on top 12-10 with 3:55 remaining, but the gritty Bayhawks were not about to give in. Westervelt put Chesapeake in position to tie by taking a pass from Rubeor and blasting a sidearm rocket past Burke to make it 12-11 with 2:41 remaining in the game. The Bayhawks won the ensuing face-off, but could not notch the equalizer as Burke stuffed a pair of strong shots by Rubeor.
Boston tried to salt away the final half minute, but Chesapeake doubled the ball and forced a pass that Bernhardt picked off to set up the heroics by Powell.
The Bayhawks return home on Saturday, August 3rd against the Rochester Rattlers at 7:00 PM at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.thebayhawks.comor over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). For the Bayhawks full schedule go to www.thebayhawks.com.
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