Lax is back in Blue Cross Arena
By: Chamberlain Bauder
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--- The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League hosted their first game at Blue Cross Arena Thursday night. The two Rochester area teams faced off for their second time this summer. The Hawkeyes defeated the Armory 11-10 with the game winner coming from the Hawkeyes with 55 seconds remaining in play. The game saw two stand out performances in net, three hat tricks, a dominant face-off specialist, and a crazy momentum shift in the third quarter.
The Hawkeyes came into the game as the favorite, they won the first match up between these clubs two weeks earlier, it was an 11-6 win. Zach Terry has led the Hawkeyes offense from the lefty side he scored seven points in the teams first two games. Terry scored a hat trick in the first half to lead the green and gold to an eight goal first half. Dylan Snow also tallied a hat trick on the day from the righty wing, that included the game winner in the final minute of play.
John Jacobs and Quinn Nolan were the teams specialists. Jacobs backstopped the Hawkeyes with a standout performance in net, making more fast break stops than can be counted on one hand. Nolan had a dominant day at the face off dot, he won every draw of the first quarter and was a major factor in turning the momentum in the Hawkeyes favor in the fourth quarter.
The Armory were led by a rookie to the UCBLL, Chase Cogan notched a hat trick for the armory while Alec Constable and Rioux Johnson each pulled the offensive strings from the righty and lefty wings respectively. Constable had two goals and two assists while Johnson notched two goals and an assist, showing he was the most creative player on the floor.
Will Dempsey was in goal for the Armory, his elite shoulder shrug kept the upper net shut down for a majority of the game and he kept the Armory in it through much of the second half. The Armory couldn't find an answer against Nolan at the face-off dot, Gabe Edwards and Garrett Morgan split the reps.
It was evident early on that this would be a more competitive game than the last between these two teams, each defense came up with a stop on the first possessions. The Hawkeyes broke through first and took the lead they held until deep in the third quarter. Terry started the goal scoring for the green and gold, going low to low from the carpet ad. The second was from defender Jackson Saulpaugh as he received a beautiful outlet from Jacobs and scored across the crease.
The Armory needed an answer and went to their number nine. Cogan set up behind the goal and held up the ball to ensure he had a one-on-one. From there he exploded toward the net and cashed in on the dunk for the Armory's first goal of the day. Each team seemingly had an answer for the other, the Hawkeyes continued winning face-offs and defender Patrick Mitchell scored in an offensive set near the end of the quarter to have them final say. It was 4-2 in favor of the Hawkeyes after one quarter.
The Armory came out with a fire in the second, they started by winning their first draw of the day. While on offense Constable worked from the left to the right wing, Nathan Schultzkie set the perfect pick and made an air strip for the righty who found twine. The teams continued to exchange goals until the score sat 6-5 with a few to go in the half.
Unfortunately for the Armory Zach Terry flipped a switch in the closing minutes. First was an outside shot that bled through Dempsey's jersey. With less than 25 seconds left in the half, coach Bradley Voigt drew up a play for the Hawkeyes. Despite it breaking down, Terry was wide open on the crease, he received the pass from Colin Duncan and was able to dunk it far side on Dempsey with five seconds left in the half.
8-5 was the Hawkeyes lead at halftime. Snow scored his second goal of the day to open the second half scoring, within thirty seconds the Armory answered from their righty side as Constable combined with Mark Belles to find the back of the net. That wasn't it for the Armory, in fact that snap back goal seemed to wake them up.
The Armory ripped off a five goal run off the Constable goal. Rioux Johnson scored an assisted one off a dominant ground ball win on the face-off, he took a massive body check but maintained position and created the goal for Edwards. the 5-0 run was capped off by a hidden ball trick, Constable flipped the ball to Cogan and drove into the hole to sell the trick play. Cogan had all the time and all the space in the world to score the game leading goal in the closing minutes of the third on the power play.
Each of the first three quarters saw at least six goals scored, that was not the case for the fourth. Neither team could truly find an edge over the opposing defense. Will Dempsey was standing on his head as he kept Terry out of the back of the net for the entire second half. Eventually the momentum turned when the ball went out of play due to a Zamboni door opening after a hard check into the boards. That meant a reset by way of the face-off.
Nolan won that face-off and quickly returned possession for the Hawkeyes, they were down by one. After cycling through Mitchell eventually received a pass between two defenders on the crease, he rolled around one and wrapped his stick around the other to get his hands free for the game tying goal. The Hawkeyes won the following face-off as well and it led to another dominant possession.
Tied at 10-10 with just under five minutes to go, Trevor Hill was sent to the box for the Armory for an illegal body check. That opened the door of opportunity for the Hawkeyes. Despite a strong penalty kill from the Armory, four minutes proved to be too long as Dylan Snow completed his hat trick with the extra man on the inside, his shot bled through on Dempsey with 55 seconds left in the game.
Both teams will head to East Aurora for their next game as they take on their Buffalo counter parts in the UCBLL. The next game at Blue Cross Arena will be a double header on July 10th. Tune in to 89.1 The Point at 6:45 pm for the pregame show, first face-off at 7:00 pm.