The Philadelphia Barrage didn't waste any time taking care of the Washington Bayhawks in the final regular season game, 22-7. With the win, the Barrage secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Bayhawks are going home to wait for next year. Roy Colsey led the way with five goals, as Michael Springer added four. Ryan Boyle, Jed Prossner and Matt Striebel added hat tricks in the dominating effort.
For Chris Garrity, the night got off to a relatively good start. Barrage attackman Michael Springer fed Ryan Boyle on the doorstep. Garrity stuffed Boyle to end the Barrage’s 1st possession. Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly. Springer wouldn’t stay off the score sheet for long. At the 2:42 mark, Springer made a quick feed to Jed Prossner who buried the shot to get the scoring started on the night. Off the next face-off, Springer made a nice C-cut up from the goal line to meet the fast break. This carried him into a shooting position and allowed him to beat Garrity low. No more than thirty seconds later, Roy Colsey was driving down the side and running out of an angle. He somehow managed to squeeze a fluky goal in, to give Philadelphia an early 3-0 lead, with all occurring less than a minute apart.
The assault wouldn’t stop. On a man-up, Ryan Boyle fed Colsey. Colsey put a bouncer past Garrity with just 5:03 gone in the 1st quarter. Two and a half minutes later, Springer again got involved, this time finding Justin Smith who beat Garrity low. Matt Ward would answer for Washington by forcing underneath to put away a righty finish from doorstep. To be followed :40 later by Conor Gill picking up an errant shot and quickly finding Buggs Combs.
While it appeared that Washington was intending on making a game of it, Philadelphia face-off extraordinaire Andy Corno did his job to make that difficult. On the day Corno won 19 of 29 face-offs, with 10 gbs and a late goal to boot. The 5-0 hole and then the 5-2 hole provided too much for the Bayhawks to overcome with a slightly anemic roster that was missing a few of their stars and a few names you’re not used to hearing. The Barrage, with the playoffs on their minds, scored 9 of the next 10 goals, while possessing a 12-3 halftime lead and leads as large as 15-4 and 22-6.
Their loss to the Barrage a week ago sealed the Bayhawks’ playoff fate and it showed tonight. The Barrage looked like a team trying to fine tune their game. Even to the point of resting goalie Brian Dougherty at the end of the 1st quarter with a comfortable 9-2 lead. Back-up Kevin Keenan contributed 14 saves in his 45:00 of play while only allowing five goals to slip by him. The Bayhawks, on the other hand, were sloppy up-and-down the field. To be fair to their offense, their biggest problem seemed to be with getting the ball from the defensive side of the field to the offensive side. Chris Garrity, despite giving up 17 goals, came up with 18 saves while facing 35 shots on goal. There were numerous chances to get the ball up the field, but the Bayhawks’ defense would either boot the groundball or throw it away. In the first half alone, the Barrage hit at least five laser shots off the pipes. These generally led to further Barrage possessions as they often came up with the loose balls. To say the time of possessions was lopsided in the Barrage direction would be an understatement to say the least.
The second half, despite the lack of competition on the scoreboard, got a little chippy on the defensive sides of the field. Early in the first, Bayhawks attackman Matt Ward got in Barrage defenseman Brian Spallina’s face after a vicious slash by Spallina. Spallina never one to back down and who likes to talk while playing, responded in kind. In the 3rd quarter, Bayhawks defenseman Shawn Nadelen laid a pretty vicious hit onto a Barrage attacker. After drawing the flag, Nadelen was met by Spallina at the midfield, who had something to say to him. They both got in each other’s faces and drew further penalties. Later Kyle Dixon laid a vicious cross check to a Barrage player. There was Spallina waiting by the Bayhawks’ bench. He reminded Dixon that Spallina’s teammate needs to play in two weeks, whereas Dixon’s year is over.
The Philadelphia Barrage appear to be a team that’s peaking at the right time. Their attack is dangerous in a lot of different ways. Tonight, Ryan Boyle had three goals and four assists, while Michael Springer had four goals and three assists. The late acquisition, Seth Goldberg, filled in with two goals and an assist. Jed Prossner also chipped in with three goals of his own. The midfield is reminiscent of last year’s group – tough and powerful and they have a lot of guys that aren’t afraid to pass on glory for the good of the team. Matt Zash had 12 ground balls tonight with no points. Bobby Horsey had a strong day between the lines despite staying off the scoresheet. Roy Colsey had the hot hand shooting with five goals and an assist, while Matt Striebel went 3 and 1. The defense is very similar to last year. Brian Dougherty will be loud and strong in the cage, pushing the likes of Spallina on. The X-factor last year was, of course, Paul Cantabene at the face-off circle. The Barrage gave up one of the non-glory seeking middies in Greg Peyser who was essential to their 2006 championship run. In return, they picked up Andy Corno. Tonight with his 19 of 29 performance and his 56% winning percentage on the year, the Barrage should scare some of the teams heading to Rochester in two weeks.