A week after two upsets shook up the Boston Box Lacrosse League standings, the league’s top two teams took down close victories against determined underdogs, bringing order back to the standings ahead of a rematch next week.
In Nov. 20 action at South Shore Sports Center in Hingham, Mass., it was the Blazers taking out PrimeTime 10-8 in the opener, followed by Bullseye breaking open an 11-all tie with a late run en route to a 20-12 win.
Greg Rogowski scored the Blazers’ first goal and set up Brandon Dube for the second as the defending champions got out to an early lead that they would never relinquish. The teams traded scores to get to the half with the Blazers up 4-3, before Rogowski added another helper and his second score in stretching the lead to 7-4.
PrimeTime did not go away, however, with Ken Keirstead and Henry Archie closing the gap before James Leary netted two of his team-high three goals, allowing the Blazers to salt the game away with Joe Evans shutting the door with a handful of spectacular saves down the stretch.
Evans finished the night with 34 saves, Rogowski registered six points to secure the league lead, and Leary, Dube and Taylor Dubose all contributed multiple points to the victory. Keirstead lead PrimeTme with three goals and two helpers, with Brendan Grant and Nick Samson contributing multi-point nights.
In the nightcap, the Minutemen spent much of the first half trying to climb out of a 5-0 hole and struggling to keep up with Bullseye’s Beau Wood, who scored six times and added an assist in the first half. But when Bullseye botched an extra-attacker set, leading to Patrick Hannigan’s length-of-the-floor empty net goal with five seconds left in the first half, the Minutemen got a boost and seemed to be back in the game.
That feeling got much stronger in the first 3:30 of the second half as Will Jennings scored twice, and Kyle Denhoff picked up a goal and an assist to tie things up at nine. Bullseye’s Todd Zahurak responded with the first of two goals during an extra-attacker situation, and Will Walker followed with an extra-man score to re-establish a two goal lead, only to see Denhoff and Rob Murray answer for the Minutemen.
From here, however, Bullseye seemed to find another gear, running off eight straight scores to break open the game. Walker and Vin Curran each scored twice in the run, and Chris Breiner had assists on the first three goals as Bullseye’s offense reached the 20-goal mark for the second straight game.
Wood finished with seven goals and an assist, Walker went 5-2, Breiner 1-6 and Curran added five points in the win. Zahurak and Jack Korzelius chipped in with two goals each; Korzelius contributed nine loose balls and three caused turnovers to lead Bullseye’s defense.
Jennings finished with five goals and an assist to lead the Minutemen, who also got four goals and two helpers from Denhoff and multi-point nights from Hannigan and Rob Murray.
The wins set up the Blazers and Bullseye for round two of their regular-season match-ups, as they will play the nightcap on Nov. 27; Bullseye took the first meeting 13-11. In the early game on Nov. 27, it will be the MegaWhales and Minutemen in a game that will have significant impact on the playoff race. The Minutemen won the first meeting between the two teams, 12-9.