Boston steals one from Bayhawks

Cannons' score at 1:16, late `D' earn 22-21 win

Pro Lacrosse

May 28, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

It was the type of game that probably would be decided by whichever team capitalized on its final shot.

Boston cashed in on its last opportunity and the Bayhawks didn't, so the Cannons prevailed in a 22-21 shootout last night, the first Major Lacrosse League game played at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Goalies were under siege for nearly the entire 60 minutes, with 123 shots being taken before Conor Gill connected from 12 yards with 1:16 left to keep the Cannons unbeaten after two starts. The Bayhawks fell to 1-1.

Boston registered its third straight victory in the series after the Bayhawks began with five consecutive wins against the Cannons.

"I'll tell you what, the best player on our team tonight was Tim Byrnes. He's 2-for-2 as our MVP. That steal he made against [Mark] Millon was the play of the game," Gill said.

After Baltimore's Mark Frye barely misfired against Chris Garrity, who made 20 saves, Millon was heading toward the goal for one final attempt. But Cannons midfielder Byrnes stripped him of the ball, and Boston ran out the clock.

"They came up on me quick," said Millon, who amassed five goals and four assists. "They weren't going to let me shoot."

The Bayhawks started miserably, falling behind 7-1 in the first seven minutes before launching comeback after comeback, thanks mostly to the faceoff work of Paul Cantabene (Loyola), who won 16 of 26.

After they battled to within a goal (11-10) with 9:24 elapsed in the second period, the momentum reversed again and they were down 17-12 by halftime.

Their second eight-goal quarter produced their first lead of the game, 20-19, on Jeff Sonke's fifth goal. But as the offenses finally slowed, Boston mustered three scores in the final quarter, Gill scoring the tying goal and the game-winner and assisting on the other.

"We used so much energy getting back twice after we had spotted them such a lead," said Millon. "With five or six minutes left, guys were getting a little tired."

Bayhawks player-coach Gary Gait switched goalies twice, beginning with Justin Sussman, calling in John Horrigan after the Cannons zipped ahead 5-0, then going back to Sussman in the third period.

"We had an opportunity at the end and didn't get it done," said Gait. "We had the shot we needed and it went over the top, then we turned the ball over."

Gill, a St. Paul's graduate who played at the University of Virginia, got it done.

"It's fun to come here all the time," he said of his hometown. "This was a great experience playing here. Hey, we're 2-0 [with wins over both MLL finalists from last season], but all that means is we've had a good start."

Boston 8 9 2 3 - 22

Bayhawks 4 8 8 1 - 21

Goals: Bos-Leveille 5 (1), Regan 4, Gill 3, Dusseau 3, Watson 2, Evans (1), Rothfuss, Fiore. Bay-Millon 5, Sonke 5, Gait 3, Frye 3, Sims 2, Cantabene, Fulks, Marohl. Assists: Bos-Gill 3, Evans 2, Dusseau, Inge, Leville, Regan, Watson; Bay-Gait 4, Millon 4, Cantabene, Cocchi, Frye, Marechek. Saves: Bos-Garrity 20; Bay-Sussman 9, Horrigan 4. A: 3,112.

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