CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte Hounds kept playoff hopes alive, defeating rival Chesapeake 20-10 on the road at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
"Our backs are against the wall," head coach Jim Stagnitta said entering halftime leading 11-3. "This is a really important game for us and they know that. This is our opportunity and their opportunity to help set us up for what comes next."
Charlotte seized the opportunity. After scoring 11 first-half goals, the Hounds added six goals in the third quarter to help put the Bayhawks in the rear view mirror before the final stanza.
Adam Osika started the scoring for Charlotte, before Dylan Maltz and Tim Rotanz joined in to complete their respective hat tricks.
Each time Chesapeake answered with a goal to cut into the deficit, Charlotte conveniently responded with two goals of their own.
The trend carried into the fourth quarter, where Charlotte scored an additional two goals early on to triple up the Bayhawks.
The margin swelled to 19-6, the largest lead of the game, before the Hounds cruised to their seventh victory, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
Even without leading goalscorer Ryan Brown, who helped lead the U.S. National Team to a World Championship earlier in the day, the Hounds still managed to total their second-highest point tally of the season.
Kevin Cooper led the Hounds with four goals, the most he's scored in the single game since he netted seven against the Boston Cannons in the season opener.
Maltz and Rotanz followed with three a piece while Mike Chanenchuk and Joe McCallion each added two points of their own.
While the Hounds didn't outright win the battle, stealing 14-of-32 draws, both Noah Rak and Kevin Massa did enough to help Charlotte build momentum early.
The duo won five faceoffs in the Hounds' 8-goal second quarter, three of which immediately led to scores.
Massa went on to finish 5-of-10 from the X from Rak ended 9-of-22.
The favorable lead set up Pierce Bassett for his second win of the season between the pipes.
The goalie totaled 11 saves on 21 shots to snap Chesapeake's seven-game win streak.
Charlotte hits the road next week for the regular season against the Boston Cannons. Faceoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.