The Charlotte Hounds earned their first victory of 2015 on Sunday afternoon, topping the Boston Cannons 12-11 in overtime. The win marks just the second time in team history the Hounds have beaten the Cannons, and the first time they’ve done so in Boston. Hounds attack Mike Sawyer was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game following his two-goal performance, including the game winner 7:39 into the extra period.
Brendan Fowler won the game’s opening faceoff and Justin Ward got the Hounds on the board in less than two minutes. The Cannons equalized one minute later, as Davey Emala scored his first of the day. But the remainder of the quarter was all Hounds, as the visiting team scored four straight to build a 5-1 advantage going into the second.
Sawyer kept the scoring run alive at the start of the new quarter with an assist from Terry Kimener. But the Cannons battled back, putting together a four-goal run of their own — including back-to-back tallies from James Connolly — to cut the lead to one, 6-5, at the half. In addition, Jordan Burke made five saves in the quarter to hold the Hounds scoreless for more than 12 minutes.
The Hounds made their necessary adjustments at the break and came out firing in the third. Fowler won the opening draw, Ryan Flanagan scooped up the groundball and took it straight to the cage to push the Hounds in front 7-5. After seven minutes of scoreless play, Joe Cinosky won a key groundball battle to set up Thomas DeNapoli, who scored his second of the night to put the visiting team up by three. Both goalies made some impressive saves down the stretch of the quarter, but the Hounds were able to get the ball back with 15 seconds to play, and John Haus capitalized. Haus took the ball on the run and shot just as he was crossing the front of the net to make it 9-5 in favor of the Hounds.
Looking for a spark, the Cannons replaced Burke in goal with former Hound Adam Ghitelman at the start of the fourth quarter. Both teams were hit with early pushing penalties, but the Cannons took advantage of their power play as Ryan Young found Will Manny on the doorstep for an easy goal to pull the home team within three, 9-6. But Haus responded with his third of the night, and Josh Hawkins followed with one of his own to make it 11-6 Hounds with 8:16 to play. However, the Cannons’ Craig Bunker won the ensuing faceoff, getting the ball to long pole Scott Ratliff. Ratliff raced down and ripped a two-point goal to pull back within two. Momentum stayed with the Cannons, as Emala notched back-to-back goals to make it a one-possession game again. With 35 seconds left on the clock, Josh Amidon fired a shot through Pierce Bassett’s legs to tie the game and force OT.
Fowler won the overtime faceoff, but the Hounds were unable to capitalize on their first possession. The Cannons had a chance to win it, but an errant pass sent the ball back to the Hounds. Jake Tripucka was given the ball as he entered play and immediately found DeNapoli behind the cage, who then fed Sawyer for the winning goal. The victory marked the first road win for the Hounds since July 27, 2013.
The Hounds (1-1) will remain on the road next week, traveling to Denver to face the Outlaws (1-1) at 5:00pm ET on Sunday, May 3. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app.