The Machine lost to the Hamilton Nationals 13-12 after a close, nail-biting comeback that challenged both teams’ defenses throughout the entire game.
Hamilton was heavy on the Machine’s side of the field in the first quarter, pressuring the Machine defense and goalie Brian Phipps. Joe Walters from the Nationals put Hamilton on the scoreboard first, opening the game by scoring back-to-back goals. Hamilton continued to widen its lead, take advantage of its man-up opportunities and was ahead 3-0.
The Machine had difficulty getting its shots past goalie Dillon Ward and was unable to score in the first quarter. The Nationals defense remained tight and stopped the Machine from an offensive break away. Hamilton held onto a large lead and scored two more goals, walking into the second quarter up 5-0.
Kevin Crowley started the second quarter with a quick goal for the Nationals to continue the team’s scoring streak. Logan Schuss put an end to Hamilton’s heat and put the Machine on the board to trail 7-1. Crowley responded straight out of the face-off with another goal, but Greg Downing and Kyle Hartzell were able to find the net for the Machine shortly after.
The Machine offense began to pick up the pace during the second quarter and outscored the Nationals 5-3. The Machine tightened the lead 7-5 with another goal from Greg Downing and a power shot from Eric O’Brien out of a face-off. Josh Amidon ended the quarter with one more goal for the Nationals and entered halftime with a 8-5 Hamilton lead.
Hamilton came out of halftime ready to pull away with the lead again and scored three quick goals to push its lead up 11-5. Logan Schuss answered with two goals for a hat-trick, and the Machine was trailing 11-7 going into the final quarter.
The Machine had another hat-trick after Greg Downing scored his third goal of the night and shortened Hamilton’s lead by three points. Hamilton’s Cody Jamieson scored two goals in hopes of slowing the Machine’s momentum, but Steele Stanwick buried a behind-the-back goal.
With six minutes to play in the game and a 13-9 Hamilton lead, the Machine was looking for a 2-point goal to catch-up. Marcus Holman found what the Machine needed and fired a 2-point shot for the Fireball Whiskey shot of the Game and his second 2-pointer of the season. Joe Cummings kept the energy up and shot his first goal of the night. Hamilton’s lead shortened 13-12 and tensions were high for the Machine to score within the last few minutes.
Dillon Ward and the Nationals defense fought hard to stop the Machine in its tracks, and succeeded in stopping them from scoring and tying the game. The Nationals kept its lead and won 13-12 in another close game and comeback for the Machine.
The Machine is playing its final home game of the season next week on July 27th at 7 p.m. for “Fan Appreciation Night” against the Charlotte Hounds. There will be fireworks, giveaways and meal deals as a thank you for an amazing season! Purchase your tickets today!