Bayhawks Down Hounds; Hounds Clinch Fourth

The 2013 Major League Lacrosse regular season has come to a close, and for the Charlotte Hounds it ended with a loss. The Hounds traveled to Annapolis, MD to take on the Chesapeake Bayhawks and left with a 16-14 loss, but still holding on to their ticket to Championship Weekend. With the win, Chesapeake clinched the second-seed in the playoffs and will face the Hamilton Nationals for their first game, and Charlotte will have the fourth seed and take on the undefeated top-seeded Denver Outlaws. It was a back-and-forth game for the first three quarters, but the Bayhawks sealed it by scoring six goals in the fourth quarter and held Charlotte without one. There wasn’t one single savior for the Bayhawks, but rather three of them. Ben Rubeor (4 goals, 2 assists), Drew Westervelt (4 goals, 2 assists) and John Grant Jr. (2 goals, 4 assists) each scored six points in the win over Charlotte. The Chesapeake defense forced multiple turnovers late in the game and played lockdown defense to hold the Hounds without a fourth quarter point. Four different players took face-offs, but as a team only won 10 of 32 face-offs. Adam Rand finished with the most wins; having won 5 of 14 from the X. Goalie Kip Turner stopped 50% of the shots he faced, finishing with 13 saves on 26 shots on goal. One bright spot for Charlotte after the game had to be the output from youngsters – rookies scored 9 of the Hounds 14 goals. Jake Tripuka led the team with three goals, while fellow rookies Josh Hawkins and Mike Sawyer each added two. Matt White and John Haus were the other rookies to register a goal. Matt Danowski hit a two pointer which gives him six on the year, tied for second-most in the league behind Matt Striebel. Geoff Snider really shined at the face-off X for the Hounds, having won 18 of the 28 he took. Tim Fallon also got some reps facing off, and he won all four that he attempted. Adam Ghitelman finished the game with 12 saves against 27 shots on goal, giving him a save percentage of 44%. The four playoff bound teams will get the next week off, before traveling to Philadelphia, PA for Championship Weekend on August 24 and 25. The undefeated Outlaws will get things started against the fourth-seed Hounds while the second-seed Bayhawks will take on the third-seed Hamilton Nationals. Chesapeake hopes to get past the Nationals for a chance to defend their title from last year, while the Outlaws hope to return to the title game and avenge their loss from last season. This playoff appearance is the first for Charlotte and they hope to make the most of it.