Bayhawks clinch playoff spot with 15-8 win over Rattlers

Millon's 6 goals, 2 assists tie mark

Rochester coach furious over officiating

Pro Lacrosse

August 04, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The immediate reward for the Bayhawks in a 15-8 win over the Rochester Rattlers last night was their clinching of a spot in the playoffs.

But player-coach Gary Gait was looking farther ahead than that.

"It's great to make the playoffs, but our goal is to get to and win the championship," said Gait, who scored two goals. "We're focused on getting better every game and getting ready for the playoffs."

Mark Millon tied a league record for points with six goals and two assists and goalie Greg Cattrano made 19 saves to give the Bayhawks a crucial Nationals Division victory before 3,351 at Ravens Stadium.

It was the team's last regular-season game at the stadium, although they may be back to play host to a playoff game if they hold on to their division lead.

The Bayhawks, who now have a 1 1/2 -game lead over second-place New Jersey, improved to 8-4 and are now 3-0 against Rochester (5-6) this season. The teams will play again on Thursday in Rochester, a game Rattlers coach Guy Van Arsdale is very much looking forward to.

"Thursday night's going to be a war," said an incensed Arsdale, who blasted the officials after the game because two Rochester goals were disallowed because of crease violations. "You have two teams that hated each other, and now they despise each other."

Millon spent half the game tearing up the Rattlers' defense and the other half engaging in a verbal battle with Rochester goalie Brian Dougherty (15 saves).

That was just one example of the extracurricular activity in a game that included several scrums, including one in which Bayhawks defender Matt Dwan and Rochester rookie Nate Watkins exhanged some vicious slashes.

After one of the encounters, Rochester star Ryan Powell was assessed a two-minute, unreleasable, unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for yelling at the referee, and the Bayhawks poured it on with three straight extra-man goals to take a 14-7 lead.

"Everything [Powell] said, I absolutely agreed with," Van Arsdale said. "It wasn't the penalty that cost us; it was the two goals they called back. There was two good teams on the field today. It's a shame the third team wasn't as good."

All told, the Bayhawks closed the game by outscoring the Rattlers 6-1 after Rochester had opened the third quarter with two goals to get within 9-7.

"It was one of our best overall performances of the year, but we can still play better," Millon said. "If we're playing anywhere close to a perfect game, we're going to be tough to beat."

The Bayhawks were held to their lowest scoring output in a first half this season, but they still led 4-2 at intermission, mostly because of Millon.

The attackman had a hand in every first-half goal. He opened the game with two straight goals, and then fed Tom Marechek, who beat Dougherty for a 3-0 Bayhawks lead.

Bayhawks 1 3 5 6 - 15

Rochester 0 2 3 3 - 8

Goals: B-Millon 6, Gait 2, Sims 2, Sonke 2, Marechek, Nadelen, Shek; R-Fay 2, Cr.Kahoun 2, Bergey, Co.Kahoun, Powell, Soudan. Assists: B-Blatchley 2, Frye 2, Marechek 2, Millon 2; R-Bergey, Denihan, Powell. Saves: B- Cattrano 19; R-Dougherty 15. Faceoffs: B-14; R-13. Ground balls: B-29; R-27. Att: 3,351.

Next for Bayhawks

When: Thursday

Opponent: Rochester Rattlers

Site: Frontier Field, Rochester, N.Y.

Time: 7:35 p.m.

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