Voyageurs, Committed 44, Team Steak move to 2-0 in BBLL Summer action

Pat Fraser broke his defender’s stick on a hard drive to the cage and canned his third goal of the night in overtime, giving Team Steak a 13-12 win over Team Compete that saw 17 ties or lead changes.

Team Steak, the defending Boston Box Lacrosse League Summer champions, overcame an 8-4 second-half deficit as James Leary (Vermont), Fraser (Johns Hopkins) and Nico Panepinto (Brown) netted four goals in three minutes, turning a would-be rout back into a barn-burner. From then on, no one held a lead of more than a goal.

Panepinto scored four of his five goals in the second half, tying the game at 8, 9 and 10 before giving Steak its first second-half lead at 12-11 with 4:30 remaining.

Marty Bowes (Hartford) tied things up with his seventh goal of the game with 3:30 remaining in regulation, and had two of the three shots that Teddy Strzetelski (Cornell) stopped in the last 15 seconds to force overtime. Bowes and Lukas Buckey (Ohio State) accounted for 11 goals and two assists, while Brendan Lake (Hartford), Ben O’Neill and Hunter Marston (Ohio State) all had two-point nights. On Fraser’s game-winning score, Marston snapped his stick playing defense – his second broken shaft on the night – allowing Fraser to break free and slip his shot around Compete goalie Jason Brooks (Stonehill). Brooks and Strzetelski both had 24 saves in the game.

In the night’s opening game, the Shamrocks again controlled tempo and scoring early but faded down the stretch, falling 11-8 to the Committed 44s after surrendering eight of the 10 goals scored in the second stanza.

Nick Boozang led the way with a hat trick for the 44s, while Wtason Cheek (Harvard) added two goals and three helpers in his first game of the summer. Cheek and Mark Goodrich (Johns Hopkins) led the team with 7 loose balls a piece. Drew Adams had four points for the Shamrocks, who got 33 saves from goalie Chuck Jaffe. It was the second week in a row that the Shamrocks lost a second-half lead down the stretch.

In the nightcap, the Voyageurs jumped on the Blazers early and never looked back, running up a 14-6 victory.

Jon Nassif (Keene State) led the way for the Voyageurs with five goals and an assist, connecting several times early with Connor MacNeil (Assumption), who scored twice and added three assists in his first game of the summer. Dustin Vitagliano (Merrimack) and Ethan Robson (Salve Regina) both netted a pair of goals, while Matt Duggan (UMass-Boston) had a goal and three assists, but much of the team’s offensive success stemmed from a ball-hawking defense led by Jeff Chang (Tufts) who corralled 11 loose balls and two caused turnovers to go with two assists on the night, plus Alex Bunick, who added 7 loosies plus two caused turnovers and one helper.

Kevin Blair (Providence) led the Blazers with four goals; Mario Pinto and Karl Hoffman both made 21 saves on the night.

Something has to give at the top of the standings when Boston Box Lacrosse Summer League play resumes on July 12, as the Voyageurs meet the Committed 44s in the middle game, with the winner clinching a berth in the playoff round. The Shamorcks and Team Compete play the nightcap with the winner getting a big edge in making the playoffs; the opening game features Team Steak matched up with the Blazers.

The Boston Box Lacrosse League plays on Tuesday nights at South Shore Sports Center in Hingham. For stats, standings and more information on the league – or to get a spot on one of the teams for the remainder of the summer — go to BostonBoxLax.com. The league posts announcements and commentary on Twitter and can be followed @BostonBoxLax.

South Shore Sports Center is located at 55 Recreation Park Drive in Hingham; fans and friends can watch games from the arena seating or at the Skybox Lounge, where food and drinks are served. Information is available at southshoresportscenter.com.