Tight wins over Minutemen, MegaWhales set up a battle for first place
Kurt Hunziker’s four goals and a hat trick from Garrett Naimie helped the Blazers break open a close game en route to a 13-9 win over the Minutemen, and Justin Turri’s fourth goal of the game with 1:11 remaining in regulation gave Bullseye a 10-9 win over the MegaWhales as the Boston Box Lacrosse League’s top two teams won on Jan. 16 to set up a first-place showdown on Jan. 23.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair until a late first-half run including two man-up goals in the last minute of the first half gave the Blazers control that they would never relinquish. Brandon Dube had a penalty-shot goal and four assists and Greg Rogowski contributed two goals and two helpers for the Blazers, who also got goal-and-assist nights from Marty Bowes and Randy Fraser. Joe Evans made 40 saves to backstop the win, as the Minutemen actually put more shots on goal during the contest.
Ryan Murphy led the Minutemen with four goals, with Ed Doherty contributing two markers, and Rob Murray and Alexi Spears adding a goal and assist each.
The nightcap was tight throughout, with Bullseye breaking a 2-all tie with a three-goal run, only to see the MegaWhales answer with three scores to knot the game at 5 at halftime. In fact, the MegaWhales never led in the contest, but had answers for seemingly every Bullseye scored. When Bullseye’s Adam Fishman opened the second half with his second marker of the night, Greg Melaugh netted his fourth to tie things up again; when former Tufts teammates John Uppgren and Beau Wood scored consecutive goals for Bullseye, the MegaWhaled Mike Maggio responded with his third and fourth scores on the night to tie the game up with 11 minutes remaining in regulation.
Turri scored near the 10-minute mark, but Chris Hettler who finished with 38 saves for the MegaWhales – stood on his head to keep his squad in the game, ultimately robbing Josh Hawkins on a shorthanded opportunity and keying the reverse transition with a long outlet to Maggio, who dished the ball to Scott Corcoran for the game-tying goal with 2:41 on the clock.
From there, Turri netted an outside shot, and Bullseye was able to hold off several quality scoring chances as Jeff Smith came up with the last of his 21 stops by robbing Melaugh and Maggio.
That combination finished with four goals and one assist each for the MegaWhales, who also got three assists from Tim Towler. Bullseye got five points from Turri, two goals each from Wood and Fishman, and multi-point nights from Uppgren and Will Walker.
The win runs Bullseye’s season-high winning streak to seven games and set up the game that will determine the regular-season championship, with the Blazers and Bullseye matching up in the 9 p.m. game on Jan. 23. The two teams have split their two games this season, with the Blazers handing Bullseye its last loss, 17-13, on Halloween night, and Bullseye winning by the same four-goal margin in a 12-8 victory on Dec. 5. PrimeTime and the Minutemen follow in the nightcap.
The BBLL’s fall-winter regular season concludes on Jan. 30, with two weeks of playoffs in early February.
The Boston Box Lacrosse League, a member of US Indoor Lacrosse, plays at South Shore Sports Center in Hingham. For stats, standings and more information on the league, go to BostonBoxLax.com. The league posts announcements and commentary on Twitter and can be followed @BostonBoxLax.
South Shore Sports Center is located at 55 Recreation Park Drive in Hingham; fans and friends can watch games from the arena seating or at the Skybox Lounge, where food and drinks are served. Information is available at southshoresportscenter.com.