Chicago Falls Short as LA Prevails 18-16 Behind Huntley and Harrison

Chicago Falls Short as LA Prevails 18-16 Behind Huntley and Harrison

Chicago Falls Short as LA Prevails 18-16 Behind Huntley and Harrison

Chicago Falls Short as LA Prevails 18-16 Behind Huntley and Harrison

The Chicago Machine came out flat today in their attempt to establish a winning streak for the 2008 season. The Los Angeles Riptide had come into town and established themselves as the better team from the opening face off, with a quick goal at 13:55 by Kevin Huntley. 50 seconds later Kyle Harrison fed Jesse Hubbard who beat Machine Goalie Mike Gabel with an easy overhand to put LA up 2-0. Chicago struggled to score and the Riptide’s MLL All_star Defenders, DJ Driscoll and Brett Hughes were at their best, confirming their selection to the Western All-Star team in their harassment of the two Leveille brothers, holding each of them to only 2 goals. Chicago was forced to stay up top and hometowner Steven Brooks did not disappoint the crowd of 1855, trying behind the backs, dives and other shots. Brooks is a sick player and showed he is worth everything that Chicago traded for his rights, tallying 4 goals, while Brendan Cannon and Pat Heim each tallied a hat trick.

Brendan Cannon opened the scoring for Chicago with a right roll and low shot to beat Mickey Jarboe, but Mike McDonald countered in the next possession to put LA up 3-1 from about 8 yards out. Chicago’s defense was unable in the first quarter to stop LA’s outside movement working around and then back to the side for a sniper shot. Brooks took a feed from Kevin Leveille to score the first of his four goals at 3:17 from 12 yards out and using his left hand sniped the upper opposite corner of the cage under Jarboe’s stick to narrow it to 3-2. Huntley returned the favor to put the Riptide up 4-2. The regained possession at the end of the first quarter and Gabel quickly dumped the ball up to the right of the line, where Terry Kimener, used a quick stick and heaved it toward the LA goal. Kevin Leveille jumped for the ball, came down with it 3 yards in front of the crease, whirled and fired it past Jarboe, also into the left corner, to score with 1 second left to narrow the gap to 4-3.

LA opened with a win on the face off and scores by Greg Downing, Kyle Harrison and Anthony Kelly to run the gap to 7-3. Kelly was less than 50% against Chicago’s Doug Shanahan, who won 20 of the 38 faces. Kelly was whistled three times for jumping the whistle, while Shanahan was caught twice. Mike Leveille and Steve Brooks each scored a solo shot to close the margin to 7-5, with Leveille doing a nice roll from the left pipe and diving to beat Jarboe, and Brooks continued to dominate with his left. Brooks had another goal in the quarter coming off of feed between the Leveilles in which the bal was knocked out and forward and Brooks was there to catch it and pop it inside of the right pipe. Harrison countered with his overhand for his second of the game and the Riptide ended the first half scoring when Greg Bice stripped the ball and cleared it upfield to use a give and go with Mike McDonald who dumped it back to Bice, who beat his former teammate, Gabel to push LA to a 11-7 edge at the half.

Shanahan kept the Machine in the game by winning most of the faceoffs in the third quarter and Chicago put the possessions to good use and started at 7:20 with a backhand shot while he crossed from left to right in front of Jarboe to cut it to 11-8. Pat Heim scored next off a clear pass he pulled in at the midfield stripe and cranked it low next to Jarboe’s right foot, 11-9 at 5:46. Shanahan prevailed after Kelly jumped on the faceoff and Chicago worked the ball in to where Nick Schmidt fed Matt Dasinger, who used an overhand shot to narrow the gap to 11-10. Harrison again scored to keep the lead at 2, 12-10 and Brooks was fed by Eric Pittard and went right hand this time to cut it to 12-11. A poor clear pass by Gabel was picked off by Matt Casey, but Gabel blocked Casey’s sidearm and Kimener fed Mike Leveille to tie the game at 12-12 at 1:13 left in the third quarter. Cannon went solo and used a sidewards dive across the crease and scored to ut Chicago up 13-12 at the end of the third quarter and give the Machine its first (and only) lead of the game.

The Machine suffered from mental errors in the fourth quarter and let Los Angeles pick them apart with 6 goals, the first coming from Jesses Hubbard at 12:55 to tie the game at 13 all. Los Angeles jumped to a 16-13 lead before Pat Heim scored at 7:17 from top right and Kimener followed with a shot off a crisp feed from Cannon to narrow the deficit to 16-15. Enough time was left for a comeback but the Riptide defense kept Chicago out on the perimeter and kept Brooks from any good looks. Harrison and Downing finished the LA scoring to bring it to 18-15 and Heim scored his last goal at 1:52 to cut it to 18-16. Chicago tried to get a shot in from the the 2-point area but were off the mark and in its last possession, Cannon was stripped by Hughes to end the threat.

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