Bullseye was in a familiar position five minutes into the second half, knotted up with the Blazers at six-all in a Boston Box Lacrosse League championship game that looked destined to come down to the wire.
What happened next was unfamiliar, however, as Bullseye – which had lost the last four BBLL championships in tight games – responded with a four-minute, four-goal run, taking control of the game and, ultimately, taking home its first BBLL championship on Feb. 26 at South Shore Sports Center in Hingham, Mass.
While the Blazers had won the last six BBLL titles, Bullseye is actually the last remaining member of the league’s original four teams to capture a crown, and the Blazers did not surrender without a fight.
The Blazers used goals from James Fahey and Kurt Hunziker to establish a 2-1 lead seven minutes into the contest, only to see Will Walker score his first of the game and slip a slick inside pick-and-roll feed to Kyle Smith to put Bullseye back on top. Josh Graver knotted the game at three for the Blazers and the squads then traded goals to the end of the first half, which finished in a 5-5 tie.
The back-and-forth continued early in the second half, but after Hunziker tied the game at six, Bullseye’s Vin Curran scooped a loose ball in his own zone off the ensuing faceoff and made a solo bull rush up the field netting his first of the night. Two minutes later, it was Greg Lally, corralling a rebound at the edge of the crease and laying out to beat the Blazers’ Joe Evans before Curran finished another fast break with a left-handed blast off a feed from Chris Willman. Walker closed out the run with Bullseye’s fourth goal in four minutes and Bullseye was able to control tempo for the last half of the season’s final period, answering the Blazers and preventing rallies.
“For a long time now, our focus has been on beating the Blazers,” said Chuck Jaffe, Bullseye’s player/coach. “They have been the best team in the league and the gold standard and we had to learn from them to beat them, and they were right there the whole night. It took a tremendous effort and a lot of things going right for us to finally come out on the right end of a title game with them.”
Walker’s five-goal, one-assist night – plus two caused-turnovers and five loose balls – earned him the Jukebox Lacrosse Finals MVP Award, but he had plenty of help in the win. Bullseye totaled 60 loose balls – led by 13 for Joe Nardella – and caused 16 turnovers, to just three for the Blazers. Greg Wozniak and Rob Haus each had three caused turnovers on their own.
Curran – who had seven loosies, two caused turnovers and an assist to go with his two clutch goals – and Adam Fishman scored two goals each for Bullseye, with Kyle Smith and defender Chris Willman also having multi-point nights. Alex Krawec made 20 saves in the win.
Hunziker and Fahey each scored twice on the night and Kyle Baker had three assists. Greg Rogowski netted a goal and an assist. Joe Evans made 31 saves, many of them spectacular, to keep the game close throughout.
The end of the fall-winter season means that the Boston Box Lacrosse League will now be closed until the start of its summer season in June.