ANNAPOLIS, MD â€“ Goalie Brian Phipps put forth his third straight strong performance in goal as the Chesapeake Bayhawks came from behind to beat the Hamilton Nationals, 12-11 in overtime, at Ron Joyce Stadium in Canada. Phipps, a rookie out of Maryland, continued to yield a hot stick by making 14 saves. He has now stopped a total of 51 shots in the past three games since taking over as the teamâ€™s starting net minder.
Midfielder Steven Brooks was the hero, taking a feed from line mate Justin Smith and firing in the game-winning goal with 2:10 elapsed in the extra session as the Bayhawks captured a showdown of teams that were tied for third place in Major League Lacrosse (MLL).
â€œThis is a huge win because it puts us in sole possession of third place and gives us the tiebreaker against Hamilton should it come down to that for the playoffs,â€ Chesapeake owner and head coach Brendan Kelly said. â€œI am so proud of the entire team. We showed tremendous poise and a ton of courage tonight.â€
Attackman Danny Glading led the way offensively with two goals and two assists for Chesapeake (5-3), which rallied from a pair of three-goal deficits during the game. Smith finished with a goal and two assists while Brooks and attackman Ben Rubeor scored two goals apiece.
â€œBrian Phipps was phenomenal again tonight. He made some outstanding saves down the stretch to really give us a chance,â€ Kelly said.
Goalie Scott Rodgers was tremendous between the pipes for Hamilton (4-4), making 19 saves to keep the score close throughout. Attackman Kevin Crowley scored three goals for the Nationals, who were outshot 57 to 31.
Rookie attackman Stephen Keogh scored two goals as host Hamilton jumped out to an early 5-2 lead. Midfielder Kyle Dixon fired in a 2-pointer to pull Chesapeake to within 5-4 at the end of the first quarter. The Nationals regained the three-goal lead, but Brooks and Rubeor closed the second period with back-to-back goals to make it 7-6 at halftime.
Chesapeake came out on fire in the third quarter, scoring two goals in the opening four minutes to take a 9-7 lead. Smith sparked the run with a goal and an assist while Phipps helped turn the tide toward the visitors by making five saves in the stanza, which ended with the Bayhawks leading 10-8.
It remained that way for the initial five minutes of the fourth quarter before Hamilton scored three goals in the span of 3 Â½ minutes to regain the lead. Rookie midfielder David Earl tied the game at 10 with an unassisted goal at the 8:46 mark while Geoff Snider won the ensuing faceoff and scored just 27 seconds later to make it 11-10.
Neither team managed a goal for a stretch of nearly seven minutes before Chesapeake attackman Brian Carroll came through in the clutch. Carroll took a feed from midfielder Michael Kimmel and fired in a rocket shot that tied the score 11-11 with just 27 seconds left in regulation.
â€œBrian Carroll really came up huge. Time was winding down and he stepped up to make a big-time play,â€ Kelly said.
Brooks then came through in overtime to give the Bayhawks their second straight victory. Smith set up the winner by dodging and drawing a slide from the long stick midfielder defending Brooks. Smith quickly dished off to Brooks, who scored on a sidearm, left-handed crank shot.
Alex Smith won 14 of 25 face-offs for Chesapeake, which held Hamilton scoreless on three power play attempts. Long sticks Michael Evans, Steve Whittenberg, Kyle Hartzell and Barney Ehrmann anchored a defense that allowed just four goals after intermission.