Kimmel Piles Up Five Points to Lift Bayhawks Over Rattlers

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Kimmel Piles Up Five Points to Lift Bayhawks Over Rattlers

Bayhawks Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD Midfielder Michael Kimmel accumulated five points with a goal and four assists to lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a convincing 13-7 road victory over the Rochester Rattlers a Sahlens Stadium.

Attackman Danny Glading totaled four points on two goals and two assists for Chesapeake, which improved its record to 8-2 and remained in first place atop the Major League Lacrosse standings. Adam Rand captured 15 of 22 face-offs while goalkeeper Kip Turner stopped 11 shots for the Bayhawks, who are halfway through a four-game road trip.

Any time you can win on the road in this league its a positive. This is a very nice win for us, said Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle, whose squad was coming off an upset at the hands of expansion Charlotte. Our team showed it could recover from a tough loss and move on.

Attackman Drew Westervelt and midfielder Matt Abbott scored two goals apiece for Chesapeake, which gained a measure of revenge on Rochester. The Lizards had beaten the Bayhawks, 12-8, in Annapolis on May 12, 2012.

It was kind of a grind-it-out game because both teams are real solid defensively, Cottle continued. This game was very similar to our first meeting with Rochester. The difference is that this time we didnt give up any transition goals and were able to get some ourselves.

Chesapeakes close defense of Michael Evans, Nicky Polanco and Barney Ehrmann put forth a suffocating effort. Long stick midfielder Dan Hostetler was all over the field disrupting as the Rattlers were limited to just 18 shots on goal.

Our defense really came through as far as everyone winning their individual matchups. I also thought the defense did a great job of getting the ball off the ground in our end of the field and clearing it, Cottle said.

Rochester (5-5), which had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost at home for the first time this season, was shut out in the first quarter and held to just two goals in the third and fourth periods.

We arent able to do what we want to do on offense. They pressed out and made it very difficult for us to move the ball, said Rochester attackman Kevin Leveille, who scored a team-high three goals.

Five different players scored goals as Chesapeake grabbed a 5-1 lead with just over nine minutes elapsed in the second quarter. Abbott had two goals and Kimmel had two assists as the Bayhawks took a 6-3 advantage into halftime.

Glading had a goal and an assist in the third quarter to give the visitors a comfortable 9-5 margin. Leveille and Roy Lang sandwiched unassisted goals around one by Westervelt as the Rattlers cut the deficit to 10-7 with just over eight minutes remaining in the game, but midfielder Kyle Dixon responded with a 2-point goal that pretty much put the game out of reach.

It was the 11th 2-pointer of the season for Dixon, the MLL all-time leader in that category. Midfielder Ben Rubeor then added an insurance goal for Chesapeake, extending his scoring streak 25 straight games with at least one point.

Goalkeeper John Galloway made 12 saves for Rochester, which got beaten 36-26 on ground balls. I thought we did a much better job of getting the ball off the ground than we did last week in Charlotte and that was a big point of emphasis going into the game, Cottle said.

Neither team committed a penalty in the game, a real rarity in Major League Lacrosse. Chesapeake continues its road warrior ways next Saturday at the Ohio Machine. The Bayhawks are now 4-1 on the road this season.

The Bayhawks return home on Saturday, August 4th to battle their long time rivals the Long Island Lizards.

For the Bayhawks full schedule go to www.thebayhawks.com.

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Prospect report: Connor Hobbs responds to healthy scratch

Prospect report: Connor Hobbs responds to healthy scratch

Hershey update: 19-11-7-2, 4th in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 1-3-0-0

The Hershey Bears have hit a rough point in their season with seven losses in their last eight games. The Bears managed to halt a five-game losing streak with a win Saturday over Lehigh Valley, but then lost both of their games since.

The loss of Madison Bowey certainly hurts, but goaltending has been an issue of late. In a midseason review of the AHL published on NHL.com, Patrick Williams writes, “Goaltending and a thin group of defensemen have slowed the Bears, but management with Hershey and the Washington Capitals are traditionally aggressive in making late-season moves to solidify any areas that need help.”

After a very strong start to the season, Vitek Vanecek has struggled of late. In his two starts over the past week, he allowed six goals on 30 shots to Lehigh Valley on Friday and four goals on 21 shots to Binghamton on Sunday. For the season, his save percentage has now dropped to .902.

Players tend to hit these rookie walls midway through the season as teams and coaches begin to learn more about a player and adjust accordingly. One thing Vanecek really needs to work on is tracking the puck through screens. That’s a difficult part of the game to learn, but an important one as the bodies just get bigger in the NHL.

Despite his struggles, however, Vanecek has still outplayed fellow goalie Joe Cannata so it would be unfair to blame Hershey’s recent slump on the rookie netminder. Still, Vanecek was a strength for this team early in the season and as of now that is no longer the case.

Sunday’s game against Binghamton was Star Wars Day in Hershey. You can see the highlights here:

The first takeaway from that video is clearly Hershey did not have the rights to the Star Wars music.  Jakub Vrana continues to impress this season with his great shot on the power play for the goal. It’s clear watching him that his talent is a step above the AHL level. If the Caps were a basement team this year, he’d be up in the NHL. As Cup contenders, there’s no real place for Vrana just yet, barring injury of course. In all likelihood, however, this will be his last season in the AHL.

Star Wars Night also featured a great fight by the always feisty Nathan Walker. If the injury bug hits the Caps at some point this season and the team finds itself in need of a bottom-six forward, I think he could make his NHL debut. He proved he can play with bigger players in the preseason and he gives great effort on every shift. He is a handful on the forecheck and capable of generating turnovers in dangerous areas.

Bears assistant coach Reid Cashman offered a mid-season evaluation of the team’s defensemen to the Lebanon Daily News. Here are his thoughts on Bowey:

He’s another young defenseman who is in his second pro season who has gotten better on a week-to-week basis until his injury. He has a lot of talent and is very athletic who is learning how to execute his retrievals and make his first pass. He has continued to develop and evolve but he won’t be a finished product for another couple years.

Interesting take on a player who I thought would make his NHL debut this season if not for the recent injury.

Cashman provides evaluations for the team’s other defensemen including Caps prospects Tyler Lewington, Christian Djoos, Darren Deitz and Colby Williams. It is definitely worth a read to see his thoughts on each player.

RELATED: Alex Ovechkin critical of officiating Monday in Pittsburgh

Other prospect notes:

Forward Shane Gersich has been tearing it up in the college ranks since his unbelievable spin move in November. That continued this week with a goal and an assist in North Dakota’s two games. As Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald notes, “Since that November night, Gersich has 12 goals in 13 games, ranking second nationally during that timespan—only behind Northeastern's Zach Aston-Reese (16 goals).”

Check out the full article on Gersich’s incredible season here.

Forward Brian Pinho remains the leading scorer for Providence College this season with 20 points in 22 games. In a midseason report of the Hockey East conference, Joshua Kummins of SB Nation writes that Pinho “has developed into a true top center this year.”

An interesting situation played out this week in the WHL for defenseman Connor Hobbs who scored a goal and an assist for Regina on Friday. You can see the highlights here:

The goal comes on a nice wrist shot, but the assist was very impressive as he showed off his stickhandling abilities and vision with a great backdoor pass to set up the goal. Even with the effort, however, Hobbs was made a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game. Why? Because what the video does not show is that Hobbs also took three minor penalties in what was ultimately a 6-5 loss.

How did Hobbs respond? With two goals and an assist in a 5-1 blowout win on Sunday which earned him first-star honors for the game. Hobbs was actually moved from defenseman to wing for the game and seemed to enjoy the experience.

“I found it so weird and forechecking was so much different than getting forechecked,” Hobbs said. “It was nice being on the other side of the pancake for that one.”

For more on Hobbs’ response to the healthy scratch, read this article from Murray McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post.

Forward Garrett Pilon also earned first-star honors in the WHL over the week with his performance Tuesday as he led Kamloops to a 4-1 win over Moose Jaw. He recorded a goal and an assist in the game. Check out his great work on the forecheck to generate the goal here:

First-round draft pick Lucas Johansen did not earn any specific honors, but he did have an impressive week for Kelowna with one goal and four assists in three games.

MORE CAPITALS: Caps make special arrangements on dads trip for Oshie

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

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@Francis_Sports

New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - A.J. Francis talks Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky and Kirk Cousins

Redskins defensive lineman A.J. Francis opens up to JP Finlay on what it's like to play for Jay Gruden, his pick for defensive coordinator, and the latest on Kirk Cousins' contract.

Listen below, and if you'd like to hear more from Francis, check out his pro wrestling podcast Jobbing Out Show here

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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