The Charlotte Hounds outlast the Chesapeake Bayhawks in overtime.
In what could be a major turning point for 2 franchises, the Charlotte Hounds were able to defeat the Chesapeake Bayhawks 16-15 in an overtime thriller Saturday. The Hounds (4-4) come away with a 2-1 record in their recent 3-game home stand, and now are in the driver’s seat for the 3rd playoff spot in the MLL. They won the game despite another brutal 2nd quarter in which the Bayhawks were able to outgun the Hounds by a score of 7-2 to take a 10-6 lead into halftime. From there, the Hounds slowly crept backand eventually were able to tie the game with 3:45 left in the game on a Peet Poillon goal that was ultimately reviewed and should find it’s way into multiple highlight reels for the midfielder. Like the Hounds last week, Chesapeake (4-4) has to feel like they let a winnable game slip away from them this week. The team has really struggled at times this season, and now has lost 2 in a row for the 2nd time this year, which is unusual for a team coached by Dave Cottle. Both teams contested the entire game, and the fans at American Legion Memorial Stadium were treated to a game that was played at a high level by both clubs. There was no doubt that this was a huge game for both teams, and the only problem that most fans had when they left the game was the fact that it had to end.
Chesapeake has to feel like this loss is another in what has been a season that has seen the team lose 3 overtime contests. The team played well throughout the game, especially during the run they were able to make in the 2ndquarter, but by the end the ball seemed to be bouncing in Charlotte’s favor. John Grant Jr. & Drew Westervelt led the way offensively for the Bayhawks with a pair of hat tricks. The Chesapeake defense really struggled with the Hound offense, allowing a season high 34 shots on goal. While Kip Turner was able to save 20 of them, which is his season high, it was not enough as Turner allowed 14 goals to get past him. So far this season Turner has turned in some truly impressive performances, but they have been against New York (twice) and an Ohio team that is full of questions. Heading into Hamilton this weekend will show whether Chesapeake can get a win against one of the MLL elite teams.
Charlotte is a team that badly needed a win in this type of situation. Last week they allowed a poor 2nd quarter to really throw off their game plan, and failed to make the necessary adjustments in order to defeat the Boston Cannons. They were placed in a similar situation this weekend, but were able to put themselves into advantageous situations and capitalize on them. Matt Danowski put together an impressive performance with 7 points and hit 2 huge 2-point shots for the Hounds in clutch moments. Tim Fallon was able to get the best of Adam Rand throughout the game, and his 61% faceoff percentage is his best of the season by over 10%. The extra possessions that Charlotte was able to gain through his play were instrumental in not only the comeback, but also the overtime goal. Charlotte faces a tough test these next two weeks as they travel to Denver followed by Boston and their playoffs hopes could really be helped with a win in one of them.