Last weekend the Chesapeake Bayhawks took both ends of a crucial home-and-home matchup versus the New York Lizards. The season series between the two was tied at one game each, so these games were going to be crucial to both teams. Saturday the Bayhawks won 11-9 and Sunday it was a huge 24-7 victory.
Colin Heacock was the star of Saturday’s game, scoring a career-high six goals in the game. Heacock, who played the last three games at midfield, was back on attack as head coach Dave Cottle looked to exploit a defensive strategy the Lizards showed back in July.
Heacock would score a hat trick in the first quarter and then another three in the second half.
“Last time we played they put two poles up top and played a shorty down low and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Cottle said to thebayhawks.com. “We put Colin Heacock down on attack with Steele Stanwick working to get him open and it really made a difference.”
“Watching Lyle and Steele dodge makes my job a lot easier. They are some of the best dodgers in the game, so I just have to play off them,” said Heacock. “I’ll do anything to help the team and I trust in the coaches. Obviously, they saw something they felt like we could take advantage of. I listened to the game plan, understood what they wanted and, fortunately, things worked out tonight.”
After firing out to a 6-1 lead after the first quarter the Bayhawks went scoreless for 20:30 and the Lizards crawled back to cut the lead to three as the first half came to an end.
Heacock would end the drought scoring twice in 50 seconds to increase the Bayhawks lead to 8-4. Lizards would fight and claw their way back to get within two after three quarters. Amato made some outstanding saves to keep the Lizards deficit at two as they would go to the fourth quarter.
Thompson would strike first for the Bayhawks and John Wagner would convert on the man up to put the Bayhawks up again by four at 10-6. The Lizards’ Rob Panell would make it interesting by firing a two-pointer past Amato, but it was Heacock who put the final seal on the win by blasting his sixth goal past the side of goalie Austin Kaut’s head.
Along with Heacock’s six goals, Thompson and Wagner both chipped in with two apiece. Andrew Kew also scored.
Faceoff specialist Kenny Massa was dominant at 18-23.
On Sunday, the Bayhawks controlled the game completely.
Heacock and Nick Mariano would net four each while Thompson and Stanwick would get three each. Matt Abbott, Ryan Keenan and Andrew Kew scored twice each. Stanwick would add two assists for a five-point night.
Massa dominated the faceoffs going 21-32. Brian Phipps would get the start and stop 12 of 19 shots.
The victories put the Bayhawks (6-3) in a three-way tie for first with Boston and Denver. In the final seven games of the regular season the Bayhawks will face the Outlaws and Cannons a total of five times.