The inaugural game of the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League (UCBLL) was a thrilling back-and-forth battle until the final buzzer as the Rochester Hawkeyes (1-0) defeated the Rochester Armory (0-1) 13-12 in dramatic come-from-behind fashion Wednesday at Segar and Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Hawkeyes had four players with multi-goal games in their comeback effort in forwards Conner Fingar (2+0), Gavin Hill (4+0), Trevor Hill (2+0) and Nicholas Miller (2+1). Forwards Mason Homer (0+3), Colby Dobbins (1+1), and Mitch Pfeiffer (0+2) all recorded multi-point efforts, while forwards Spencer Bell (1+0) and Zachary Terry (1+0) tacked on the additional tallies of the contest.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Hawkeyes goaltender Kyle Meaghar (1-0) got his first start of the season in net and made 27 saves in addition to being named Player of the Game.
The Armory offense was fueled by forwards Kaleb Benedict (3+0) and Casey McDermott (2+2), both notching their first multi-goal efforts of the season, while forwards Luke Pilcher (1+3), Koichi Nakamura (1+2), Lars Stout (1+1) all had multi-point nights. Forwards Rioux Johnson (1+0) and Camden Hay (1+0) and defensemen Daniel Fuller (1+0) and Cam Germain (1+0) all tacked on a tally during the contest as well.
Armory goaltender William Dempsey (0-1) got his first nod in the crease and stopped 25 of the 38 goals that he faced in the 13-12 loss.
The Hawkeyes opened the scoring 4:40 into the contest with a shot from Fingar that went between the legs of the Armory goaltender for the first goal of the UCBLL season.
Armory then came back to score the next two markers to take their first of two leads of the game. At the 9:59 mark, forward Pilcher scored his first of the season while forward Benedict scored his first of three on the night to make the score 2-1 with 4:50 to go in the first stanza.
Before the first frame of the inaugural season expired, both teams would strike once more.
Hawkeyes forward G. Hill scored his first of four goals on the night to tie up the tilt at two apiece, until the Armory came back with a power-play marker with less than two minutes to go from Johnson to pull them ahead 3-2 heading into the second.
As the second quarter ensued, the Hawkeyes went on to score three straight special teams’ goals, all courtesy of G. Hill, to take a 5-3 advantage. After converting on a shorthanded opportunity, G. Hill netted consecutive power-play goals to put his team up by a pair while also finding the net for his fourth straight goal.
Before the quarter’s end, the comeback was alive once more and Armory would go back-to-back with less than a minute to go to tie the game at five apiece. With 49.5 seconds remaining in the opening half, Benedict notched his second tally of the game while Nakamura tallied his first of the season.
The Armory carried the momentum as the second half got underway, using a four-goal run to kick-off the third quarter to make it six straight and cushion their lead to 9-5.
Just 30 seconds into the third, forward Stout knocked in his first and only marker of the game, while forwards Hay and Fuller lit the lamp not even two minutes apart with 10:29 to go. McDermott rounded out the Armory’s four-goal run with his first of two in the quarter with a power-play tally and just 4:28 to go in the frame.
The Hawkeyes didn’t go silent in the third and found momentum later in the quarter when forward T. Hill found his first of two goals on the night to start to edge the score into his team’s favor.
With less than a minute to go in the third frame, both teams scored once more to bring the score to 10-7 with Armory knocking in a tally with 49 seconds to go by McDermott and Fingar’s second of the game for the Hawkeyes with literally less than a second to go.
As the fourth quarter began, both teams went back and forth in scoring to set the score at 12-9 in favor of Armory before the Hawkeyes ended the contest on a four-goal run.
In the final seven and a half minutes of the game, the Hawkeyes comeback was fueled by Miller with his two goals coming over that short span and the game-winner on the power-play with 2:02 to go. Dobbins notched his first of the game within that timeframe as well, while T. Hill provided the game-tying tally with less than five minutes in the inaugural contest.
The next game slated to take place for the Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League is set for Monday, June 21 at 8 p.m. as the Armory head to the Classic Rink to take on the Buffaloes.