Posted on Sunday April 8, 2012
Stickhorses wrap up season; Rockhoppers earn first win
7 April 2012 - Louisville, Kentucky
The inaugural Pro Invitational Season of the North American Lacrosse League concluded on Saturday night with a rematch between the Kentucky Stickhorses and the Boston Rockhoppers at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. A month between meetings provided plenty of time for roster changes and game preparations that ensured this meeting would be very different from the last, a high-scoring Kentucky victory.
Boston's lineup featured 8 new players, including NLL-veteran goaltender Nick Schroeder. Kentucky was missing franchise defenders Anthony Kelly and Greg Bice to injuries and high-scoring forward David Mitchell. Team chemistry would prove a deciding factor.
Kentucky scored first and was able to establish a 2-1 lead in the first quarter, but Boston's edge on loose balls and solid goaltending by Schroeder allowed them to fight to a 3-2 lead by the end of the first. From there, the Rockhoppers never looked back, taking every advantage given in the first half and scoring 2 shorthanded goals. On almost every close or contested shot, Boston seemed to find the net while Kentucky hit pipes or was stymied by Schroeder, including on 2 penalty shots, and Boston surged to a 10-5 lead by halftime.
Boston exploded for 6 goals in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter before Kentucky's second half goalie Pat Crosby settled in. Boston was able to capitalize on all four power play opportunities compared to Kentucky's 1 goal on four opportunities.
Kentucky turned up the speed and pressure in the fourth quarter, trying to climb back into contention, but failed to find the net more than twice while Boston added 4 to put the game beyond reach. At the buzzer, Boston claimed a decisive 20-9 win to split the season series with Kentucky at 1 win each.
In addition to dominating on faceoffs and saves, the Rockhoppers won the loose ball battle, especially during their lead-building first half. Boston's Dahill was the leading scorer for the game with 4 goals. Boston's Chase and Kirkalpy each had 3 goals. Zalesky led Kentucky in scoring with 3 goals.
Kentucky finishes the inaugural North American Lacrosse League season with a record of 5-1. Boston finishes 1-1 and the Lehigh Valley Flying Dutchmen finish with a record of 0-1. These teams will all returns as the veteran squads when the NALL competes in its first full regular season in 2013.
Dube 1 (1-0)
Caufield 2 (0-2)
Zalesky 3 (3-0)
O'Brien 2 (2-0)
Maciaszek 1 (1-0)
Derechinsky 1 (1-0)
Prevost 1 (1-0)
Paul 2 (2-0)
Santye 1 (1-0)
Dahill 4 (4-0)
Chase 3 (3-0)
Fallon 2 (2-0)
Levesque 2 (2-0)
Kirkalpy 3 (3-0)
Roberts 2 (2-0)
Simon 1 (1-0)
1 - 3-2 Boston
2 - 10-5 Boston
3 - 16-7 Boston
4 - 20-9 Boston
SHOTS ON GOAL:
Schroder (full game), Boston - 38
Capicchioni (1st half), Kentucky - 9
Crosby (2nd half), Kentucky - 17
Boston - 11 for 25 minutes
Kentucky - 9 for 18 minutes
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