Bayhawks Rally to Edge Nationals and Earn Spot in Title Game

Hunt slipped inside to score an unassisted goal to open the second stanza and tie the contest at three. Hamilton went back ahead 5-3, but Chesapeake closed the first half on a 3-1 run to make it 6-6 at intermission. Hunt scored on a left-handed shot following a nice dodge down the alley, Grant beat Queener with a great fake while Westervelt stuck an overhand crank shot of a terrific feed from Grant.

Midfielder Matt Mackrides found Powell wide open out front while Rubeor scored directly off the ensuing face-off thanks to an assist from Matt Abbott as Chesapeake took its first lead since early in the first quarter at 8-7 midway through the third period.

Hamilton appeared to seize control of the contest by scoring four straight goals over the final 3:47 of the third stanza. However, Grant used a textbook inside roll to beat All-Pro defender Tucker Durkin for an inside score that halted Hamilton's momentum. Two minutes later, Hunt delivered a cross-crease pass to Westervelt, who used two shot fakes to beat Queener and cut the deficit to 11-10.

Hamilton kept the pressure on by scoring next with Crowley beating Turner from point blank range. Crowley came open when a Chesapeake defender had to slide to Walters, who got loose after Barney Ehrmann slipped and lost his stick.

It was all Chesapeake the rest of the way with Turner and the defense holding Hamilton scoreless for the final 9½ minutes of the game. Kimmel pulled the Bayhawks back within one by cutting to the crease, taking a feed from Rubeor and beating Queener with another quick-stick.

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Chester, Pa. (August 24, 2013) -The Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the Hamilton Nationals 13-12 in a back-and-forth game to reach the MLL Championship Game, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on Saturday. The Bayhawks will look to repeat as champions against the fourth seeded Charlotte Hounds.

Michael Kimmel lead the way for the Bayhawks with four points, While Ben Hunt and John Grant Jr. added three of their own in an intense game that featured six ties and four lead changes. Joe Walters paced the way for the Nationals and had a game-high five points on two goals and three assists.

Kimmel got the defending champs on the board first with a two-point rip that beat Brett Queener from deep. However, the Nationals scored the next three goals to take a 3-2 goal into the first break.

Josh Amidon scored the first goal on an assist from Walters before 2013 MLL MVP Kevin Crowley scored and then assisted on a Martin Cahill man-up goal with just under 20 seconds remaining in the opening frame.

Hunt opened the second quarter by driving to his left through the Nationals defense and putting a shot past Queener to put an end to the Hamilton run. But two quick goals by Kevin Cunningham and Cahill put the nationals back on top 5-3.

Once again, Hunt scored a lefty goal to draw the Bayhawks back within one. Another man-up goal, this time by Cunningham, put the Nationals back up by two, but goals by John Grant Jr. and Drew Westervelt evened the score at six heading into halftime.

Both offenses came out of the break slowly, as turnovers and saves by Queener and Kip Turner were common themes of the first five minutes. Finally, Cody Jamieson broke the ice, backing down his defender before a nice spin move gave him a one-on-one opportunity with Turner, which he calmly put away to put Hamilton back on top, 7-6.

Hamilton, however, wasn't up for long, as Casey Powell received a nifty one-handed pass from Matt Mackrides and ripped an underhand shot right between Queener's legs to tie the game. 12 seconds later, a falling Matt Abbot flipped a pass to 2012 Champ Weekend MVP Ben Rubeor, who finished with an underhand shot of his own to put the Bayhawks back on top, 8-7.

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