NATIONALS NIPPED BY HOUNDS
8/4/12 8:38 PM
(August 4, 2012)… The Hamilton Nationals weathered thunder and lightning, and a 7-1 deficit, but fell just short Saturday night at Ron Joyce Stadium. The Nationals dropped the home game 11-9 to the Charlotte Hounds.
Hamilton (3-10) was powered by a five-assist night by Joe Walters and a three-goal performance from Stephen Keogh. In the first half, the Nationals had three single-season records fall, courtesy of Walters, Matt Dolente and Brodie Merrill. Walters assisted on Jamieson’s marker in the first to set a single-season assist record of 21, breaking his mark set in 2011. After Berger made it 2-1 at 5:58, Dolente won the ensuing faceoff to set single-season faceoff wins record with 196. Merrill then set the team’s single-season record of 88 with 4:52 to play in the first half.
Charlotte (4-9) ended its three-game winning streak and moved into sole possession of sixth place with the victory. The Hounds’ victory allowed them to split the season series with the Nationals. Adam Ghitelman was named the Game MVP in an 18-save effort, while Stephen Berger led the Hounds with two goals and one assist.
Charlotte took a huge lead in the first as they scored the last four goals of the quarter. Charlotte then extended its lead to 7-1 when Jovan Miller and Berger scored in the second. Keogh finally ended Hamilton’s scoring drought, which lasted over 20 minutes. His goal at 3:55 of the third was the first Nationals’ tally since Cody Jamieson’s goal at 3:14 of the first tied the game at one.
But Hamilton kept coming back and got a fortuitous deflection off a pass from David Earl with 17 seconds left in the second to make it 7-5. The two-pointer was on the man-up and followed a man-up tally by Rhys Duch. Keogh started the comeback with a goal off a bull dodge at 8:53. When Keogh whipped a shot past Adam Ghitelman at 3:55 of the third it was 7-6. After a Charlotte goal, Roman Lao-Gosney answered with his first pro goal at 12:24 to cut the deficit back down to one at 8-7.
In the fourth, however, Kyle Wimer went to work and scored back-to-back goals to put Charlotte in front 10-7. Dolente answered off a faceoff win at 7:15 to make it 10-8, but Rickey Pages’ goal helped Charlotte retake a three-goal lead. Hamilton pulled back within two on Keogh’s third of the contest, but failed on two two-point chances.
Hamilton ends its 2012 season when it hosts the Long Island Lizards on Saturday, August 11th at 7:00 p.m. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.