The Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night lost a crucial game against the Ohio Machine 13-12, as Tom Schreiber scored 4:59 into overtime to move the Machine into a two-way tie with the Boston Cannons for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Hounds fall to 4-7 and remain fifth in the standings. Schreiber was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game for his four points, including the game-winning goal. The Hounds’ effort was led by Justin Ward with three goals and Ryan Young with two, including the equalizer to force the extra period.
While three goals were scored in the game’s opening three minutes, defense was the story of the first half. The Machine’s
Eric O’Brien won the opening faceoff to set up
Logan Schuss with a goal just 41 seconds in to the first quarter.
Mike Chanenchuk answered just over a minute later, but
Peter Baum followed with a goal of his own to put the Machine back in front 2-1. The next 6:54 went scoreless, with big saves on each end from goalies
Adam Ghitelman and
Brian Phipps, before
Derek Maltz found space and got a shot off to give the Machine a 3-1 lead after one.
Scoring remained at a premium in the second quarter, as 7:25 ticked off the clock before Ward spun away from his defender and pulled the Hounds back within one. The Machine quickly responded, as O’Brien won a groundball battle and dished to
Kevin Cooper to regain a 4-2 lead. But momentum shifted, as the Hounds rattled off three straight to take a 5-4 lead into halftime. Ward scored his second of the night and one minute later
John Haus tallied the equalizer off a rebound from Young’s shot. Ward then completed the first-half hat trick to give the Hounds a one-goal advantage with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
Both teams found their offensive groove in the third, combining for nine goals in the 15 minute quarter. The Machine opened with two straight faceoff wins, each leading to an eventual goal, including one from O’Brien himself. The Hounds were then hit with back-to-back penalties, as
Michael Ehrhardt was called for an illegal body check and
Tim Fallon a delay of game. It didn’t take long for the Machine to capitalize, as Maltz scored his second of the night to put the Machine in front 7-5. But the Hounds rallied back with a four goal run – featuring four different goals scorers – to pull ahead 9-7 with just under five minutes remaining in the quarter. Maltz less than a minute later scored his third of the night to pull the Machine back within one.
Mike Sawyer then got called for slashing, which allowed Schuss to tie the game at heading into the final quarter.
The fourth was a thrilling back-and-forth affair, beginning with Fallon’s opening faceoff win, which he took straight to the cage and beat Phipps to give the Hounds a 10-9 lead. On the next possession, Baum founds Maltz waiting on the doorstep, where he buried a shot to tie the game yet again. The Machine then forced Ghitelman out of position, allowing Schuss to score his third of the night and put the home team back in front. The next 8:18 of the game was scoreless, before Young found himself trapped behind the cage. He made two changes of direction, tip-toeing the crease, to beat his defender and bounce the ball into the back of the net. The Machine challenged the call, claiming Young’s hand crossed the crease, but the goal stood. A mental error by the defense almost cost the Hounds the game in the final minutes. Ghitelman was called for failure to advance, had to turn the ball over to the Machine and couldn’t get back into position in the cage before
Brian Farrell ripped the go-ahead goal with 2:44 remaining in the game.
On their next opportunity, the Hounds could not get their offense settled and were forced to turn the ball over on a shot clock violation with just 1:25 to play. But as the shot clock was running down,
Chad Wiedmaier was called for slashing, allowing the Hounds to keep possession. Sawyer had the first opportunity, but Phipps came up with the big save. After the Machine failed to capitalize on their ensuing possession, the Hounds had one more chance with 22 seconds left on the clock. Young got the ball behind the cage and was triple teamed as he muscled his way in front, somehow finding a way to get the back in the back of the net to tie the game at 12 with 1 second to play.
Fallon came away with the opening faceoff of overtime, and streaked to the cage looking for his second of the night. Phipps made the save to keep the game alive. The teams traded chances before Schreiber caught the Hounds defense out of position and got a low shot past Ghitelman 4:59 into the extra period for the win. Ghitelman finished the game with 16 saves on 29 shots while Phipps tallied 17 saves on 29 shots.
With the loss, the Hounds remain winless on the road in 2014. Next week the team travels to Rochester, N.Y., to face the first place Rattlers (8-3). The Rattlers on Thursday night tallied their fourth straight win against the Chesapeake Bayhawks by a score of 10-7. The game will be played at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday, July 26 with faceoff scheduled for 7:00pm.
complete box score for this game.