Lindsay's Two-Pointer Puts Lizards in Playoffs
The Long Island Lizards traveled to the Windy City on Saturday to take the field at Chicago's historic Soldier Field and to fight for the last remaining spot in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs. With playoffs on the line, the Lizards eked out a 13-11 win over the Machine and will meet the Toronto Nationals in the MLL semifinals Aug. 22.
Saturday's game had equal importance to Long Island and the
Washington Bayhawks, who just narrowly beat the Boston Cannons
14-13 in a nail-biting, down-to-the-wire contest. Nonetheless, Long
Island's victory eliminated the Bayhawks.
After a scrappy start to the game, Chicago netted the first shot of the quarter. Faceoff specialist Doug Shanahan found the back of the net when he rocketed a two-pointer past Long Island's goalie.
Answering back for the Lizards was attacker Matt Danowski,
netting an unassisted goal. Soon to follow were a pair from the
Machine's Bill McGlone, assisted by Brendan Cannon and Chris
Rotelli, and the Lizards' Stephen Berger, who converted a pass from
Danowski, and Chris Fiore. After an unassisted goal from Blake
Miller, the Lizards tied the score at 4-4. However, Chicago's
Cannon tallied the last goal of the quarter off an assist from
Chazz Woodson. The score at the end of the first quarter was 5-4
The second quarter got off to a slow start, with a lull from both teams' attackers. The scene was anything but on defense. After a series of heavy hits, penalties and failed powerplay attempts, Long Island's Sean Lindsay broke the silence with his first goal of the game. After another lull, Tim Goettelmann found the back of the net with one second remaining, putting the Lizards up 6-5 at the half.
Early in the third quarter, Berger struck again for the Lizards, converting a feed from Fiore during a powerplay opportunity. Then, after a scoring draught that plagued Chicago the entire second quarter, Matt Striebel netted his first goal of the game, putting Chicago back in the saddle. Following suit for the Machine was Mike Leveille, who found McGlone in front of the net, giving McGlone a hat trick for the game.
A series of back-and-forth point blank shots from both teams were met with tremendous saves from both goalies. However, after suffering a hard hit, Chicago goalie Bud Petit, who started for the first time this season, headed to the sideline for a breather. Replacing him between the pipes was Chris Bluse, the Machine's backup goalie, who was called up from the practice squad after Mike Gabel's suspension last week for illegal equipment. Doug Shanahan then notched the go-ahead goal for Chicago, putting the Machine up 8-7. In the final minutes of the quarter, Petit returned to the cage. The remainder of the quarter was scoreless; Chicago had the edge over the Lizards.
Minutes into the fourth quarter, Stephen Peyser tied the score with an unassisted goal for Long Island. Answering back for the Machine were Rotelli and Cannon to put Chicago ahead 10-8. Fighting to get back on top, Goettelmann netted an unassisted goal, which was soon followed by Chicago's McGlone finding the back of the net for the fourth time in the game. Long Island's Kevin Unterstein notched his first goal of the game, pulling the Lizards within one.
In the final minutes of the game, both teams fought for the lead. Peyser launched a shot over Petit's head, tying the score at 11.
Unfortunately for the Machine, Bud Light Game MVP Sean Lindsay then launched a two-pointer, off a pass from Keith Cromwell, past Chicago goalie Bud Petit. With time running out, Kevin Leveille gave one last effort to keep the Machine in the game. However, his attempt hit the pipe rather than the back of the net.
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