MLL: Bayhawks snuff out Blaze

Joe Nardella of the Atlanta Blaze chases a loose ball against the Chesapeake Bayhawks’ Stephen Kelly. (Photo credit: Laura Kupsey)

Despite an early second-quarter lead by Atlanta, the Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the Blaze 9-6 on Saturday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in a chippy game that almost had a few fights break out.

Interestingly, despite the roughness, zero penalties were called in the game.

The rather low-scoring game was pretty shocking given Chesapeake’s ability to score goals seemingly at will. Equally shocking was the fact that both Myles Jones and Colin Heacock were relatively extinguished.

“Going into the game, I wasn’t sure if we could handle (Atlanta’s) quickness. I felt like we were bigger and stronger, but they were faster and quicker,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said in a team press release. “It’s hard to hold a team to six goals in this league so obviously Niko (Amato, goaltender) and the defense were outstanding.”

Steele Stanwick dominated the Blaze with a four-goal effort for Chesapeake. Matt Danowski contributed one goal and four assists.

Atlanta’s Deemer Class netted three goals.

Both Amato and Adam Ghitelman were brilliant in a game where rebounds contributed to two or three additional shots at some points. Ultimately, it was Amato who earned the win with 15 solid saves.

Bayhawks’ defensemen Jesse Bernhardt praised the goalie.

“Niko works his tail off during the week to get ready for game day, so it’s no surprise to me how well he’s been playing. That type of game is my standard for Niko,” Bernhardt said.

Chesapeake has the week off before hosting the Boston Cannons on Monday, July 2nd at 6 p.m. Atlanta hosts the Dallas Rattlers next Saturday at 7 p.m.