With their backs against the wall, the Bridgeport Barrage pulled out a 17-15 victory over Boston in front of a home crowd of 2,143. Tom Carmean, who is just short of his 37th birthday, led the Barrage with 4 goals and 2 assists including the game winner. He explained his best game of the season, “The first shot went in and I felt pretty good after that. It was about time to start making plays.” The loss was disappointing for Boston who could have clinched a play-off birth with the victory but will now have to wait for their second chance on Saturday night in Bean town. Coach Mitch Whiteley talked about his team going into the next game, “We need to be focused and ready to play from the very beginning. It will come down to which guys are making plays.”
Each team owned one of the first two quarters. It was Bridgeport that got off to the quick start with Carmean scoring just 50 seconds into the game. Michael Watson quickly answered off the face-off to even the score at one. The Barrage did just that by scoring the next four goals. Bridgeport was using a solid face-off performance by Jamie Hanford to retain possession and good offensive teamwork to move the ball to the open man. Tim Whiteley scored the last goal of the third quarter and that proved slightly prophetic as the Cannons took over in the 2Q.
Tucker Radebaugh took a Jamie Hanford, whom Coach Garber called the best defenseman in the league, one-on-one. Bridgeport did answer when Blake Miller literally slapped home a rebound. Mike Battista, who otherwise had a quiet night, drove Matt Alexander into the ground then stepped back and shot for the Cannons fourth goal. Bridgeport responded once more with a hard shot from Ken Garcia and despite Boston goalie Bill Daye getting a piece of it the ball still went in. Boston strung together three goals and the end of the quarter to tie the score at 7 going into half time.
A real smart play between Colsey and Carmean set up the next goal for Bridgeport. The Barrage was man-up in a 1-3-2 set and Colsey had the ball up top. Before the defense could notice, Carmean slipped from behind and Colsey found him wide open on the doorstep. It was a play that you wouldn’t have seen in the beginning of the season but now that they players are used to each other it can happen. Bridgeport went on a three-goal tear in about 1:30. Jim Gonnella caught one as he was cutting and stuck a tough shot on the run. The Barrage kept winning the face-off and scoring to take an 11-7 lead. Bill Edell put a stop to the run when he converted a nice feed from Tucker Radebaugh. Next Dave Evans stuck his league-leading 6th 2-point goal which put the Cannons right back in the game. He explained what happened, “The ball swung around and they played soft. I thought if I put this off stick it was probably going to go.” Bridgeport got another goal from Matt Panetta who finished a Colsey feed without much of an angle to put the Barrage up by two heading into the fourth quarter.
Boston quickly evened it up with two great looks from Tim Whiteley. Bridgeport answered with two of its own from Carmean and Colsey. Boston strung together three in a row to take their first lead of the game with 6:47 remaining. The goals came Whiteley, Greg Traynor, and Dave Evans. Whiteley’s was probably as it looked like a UVA alumni game with the way he and Watson was passing. I guess when two guys have been playing lacrosse together since they were 7 it can be expected. Boston was looking good at this point. They had finally taken the lead and if they could hold on next week would be a mere formality but Bridgeport had another thing on their mind. Panetta tied the game with a low-to-low shot. Carmean stuck a shot high off the restart to give his team the lead with 3:50 left. Boston got the ball back and Battista got a shot off but it was weak and forced by the shot clock. Bridgeport brought it up the field but turned it over giving the ball to Boston with 1:21 remaining. Watson got a shot off and it bounced high with the Cannons backing up. Scott Doyle took his defender and ripped off a quick shot but Mule saw it at the last second and saved it with the inside of his upper left leg. Bridgeport retained possession and tried to clear the ball. Boston had a tough ride and it looked like the Barrage threw the ball out of bounds but for some reason the ball went back to Bridgeport. They took advantage of that break and Matt Striebel (subject of an in depth interview in this month’s FUEL magazine) broke to the goal and scored. Boston did win the face and had a play set up for a two-pointer but the pass was low to Evans and there was nothing he could do with it.
A funny side-story from tonight’s game from the affable Bridgeport Head Coach Ted Garber regarding the concussion Keith Cromwell suffered, “He came out and I asked him if he knew who he was and he said, ‘No.’ So I told him his name was Gary Gait and to get back out there. I thought I could fool him.”
Bridgeport Barrage vs. Boston Cannons
|Thomas Carmean||(4, 2)|
|Roy Colsey||(2, 2)|
|Blake Miller||(2, 1)|
|Matt Panetta||(2, 0)|
|Thomas Naglieri||(1, 0)|
|Brian Langtry||(1, 0)|
|Jim Gonnella||(1, 0)|
|Kenneth Garcia||(1, 0)|
|Matt Alexander||(1, 0)|
|Brian Silcott||(1, 0)|