6/23/12 8:02 PM
(June 23, 2012)… Joe Walters had his shortest commute of the season tonight, driving just 10 minutes to tonight’s road game in Rochester, NY. The Hamilton Nationals midfielder, who once starred for the Rattlers, responded with a huge offensive night with seven points. Yet, his homecoming was spoiled by a 17-10 loss to the Rochester Rattlers at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Walters, who was among the 2012 World Champion Rochester Knighthawks honored before the game, was in championship form as he had a hand in seven of the 10 Hamilton goals. He scored three times, which included a two-pointer, and added three assists to become the first player to reach 100 points as a National.
The loss dropped Hamilton to 2-5, while Rochester improved to 3-4 with its first win in five tries against its Canadian rival. Oakville native and Rattlers midfielder Jordan MacIntosh did the most damage with a career-high five goals and six points. He netted three of those goals as part of a 5-0 run to end the game. Rochester also received four points (3+1) from Kevin Leveille.
Hamilton got secondary scoring from Kevin Crowley, who finished with two goals, and Stephen Keogh, who scored two goals in a three-point effort.
After taking a 4-3 lead after the first, Rochester seized control of the game in second by outscoring the Nationals 6-1. The big goal for Rochester was Matt Striebel’s two-pointer from MacIntosh at 4:45 to make it 7-3.
But Hamilton, similar to last week, rallied in the second half to trim the lead to 10-8 in the third. Walters powered the comeback with a two-pointer at 1:19 to cut the deficit to 10-6 with Keogh assisting. Keogh then made it 10-7 at 6:50 from Billings. Billings followed that up with a high shot from in tight that beat John Galloway at 10:25 and Hamilton was within two. Brad Ross answered for Rochester only to have Walters squeeze a shot past Galloway to make it 11-9. Jeff Colburn ended the third with a goal at 14:28 to send Rochester to the fourth ahead 12-9.
The Nationals continued to claw back and got the deficit down to 12-10 with Keogh’s goal at 1:02. The Rattlers, however, tightened up on defense and scored the last five goals to win 17-10 and take over sole possession of fifth in the MLL.
Hamilton returns to action against the defending champion Boston Cannons on Saturday, July 7th at 7:00 p.m.