John Grant Jr. named Championship MVP with seven-point Championship Weekend performance
Chester, Pa. (August 25, 2013) – The Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the Charlotte Hounds, 10-9, to earn their second consecutive MLL Championship title on Sunday, August 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Led by Championship Weekend MVP, John Grant Jr., the Bayhawks grabbed 10 goals and played a strong defensive game. They have now earned the Championship title in three of the last four seasons, and their fifth club title.
The game opened with a faceoff win for Chesapeake’s Adam Rand, but it was the Hound’s that struck first with a goal from Ryan Young, a minute and 11 seconds into the quarter. Adam Ghitelman made a couple of stops as the Bayhawks tried to keep the pressure on before the 2012 Championship MVP, Ben Rubeor put Chesapeake on the board, sending one into the net. Veteran attackman, Casey Powell would add to this, putting the Bayhawks up 2-1. After Charlotte went 1-5 in shots on goal, Young grabbed another one to even up the game. This was only temporary as Grant came in with the pick and roll to give the Bayhawks the 3-2 advantage.
The score would remain at 3-2 until the 3:43 mark in the second quarter, when Grant would take the feed from Powell to score again, making it a 4-2 difference. Charlotte failed to take advantage of a man-up situation and just couldn’t get a shot off. Matt Danowski was the only Hound to take a shot on goal in the quarter. To close out the half Grant slashed another goal with 1.1 seconds on the clock to head into halftime up 5-2 and complete a natural hat trick.
The third quarter would see a change in pace, with the ball traveling up and down the field, the type of lacrose tailored for a young, Hounds team, but still they struggled to compete. Grant would again send the ball sailing past Ghitelman, carrying his team to a 6-2 lead. The Hounds then turned it on, scoring two goals 46 seconds apart, one from rookie Jake Tripucka, and Young completing his hat trick. With a 6-4 lead, the Bayhawks kept the Hounds scoreless the rest of the quarter. Drew Westervelt and Matt Mackrides would contribute to the Chesapeake lead, making it 8-4 before heading into the final 15 minutes of the MLL season.
Rookie Mike Sawyer, chipped away at the Chesapeake lead, finding the net behind Kip Turner. With a man-up advantage the Bayhawks’ demonstrated a great passing game to allow Westervelt his second goal of the game. Charlotte wouldn’t let Chesapeake run away just yet, closing in with a pair of goals from Peet Poillon and again from Sawyer, putting them just two points back. Westervelt would come in for his third goal off the day, and make it a 10-7 game with 7:07 to play. In the last two seconds Charlotte captain, Danowski would send in an impressive two-point goal, but still came up short with a final of 10-9.
While the Hounds only held the lead in the first minutes of the game, they never let the Bayhawks feel comfortable with it. In the end though, Chesapeake outplayed the youthful Hounds. The veteran Bayhawks have now won five MLL Championships, hoisting the Steinfield Trophy for the second consecutive season, with the help of veterans like Powell, Rubeor, Westervelt, and Grant, along with an outstanding performance from Turner.
- Chesapeake’s Kip Turner went 14 for 22 in saves, earning a .636 save percentage in the game.
- Three players completed hat tricks in the game, Drew Westervelt and John Grant Jr for the Bayhawks, and Ryan Young for the Hounds.
- Championship MVP, John Grant Jr. scored four consecutive goals in the game, one in the first quarter, two in the second, and one last goal in the third. He would finish the game with four total points.
- Adam Ghitelman, in goal for the Hounds made 9 saves, on 19 shots on goal.
- Charlotte’s Ryan Young led their offense, tallying 7 points in the game, including four goals and three assists.
- Just four players scored goals for the Hounds, while only five players tallied goals for the Bayhawks in the Championship game.
- Both Drew Westervelt and John Grant Jr. would score four points in the game, leading the Bayhawks’ offense.
- The 10-9 score ties the record for lowest score in a Championship Game. In 2009 Toronto defeated Denver and 2011 Boston beat Hamilton by the same score.