Turner turns tables on Cannons in semifinals
Chesapeake goaltender Kip Turner is now just one win away from a remarkable turnaround.
The former Cannons goalie stopped 13 of Boston’s final 15 shots Saturday as his Bayhawks advanced to the Major League Lacrosse championship game on Sunday with a 16-10 victory before a crowd of 8,090 at Harvard Stadium.
The Bayhawks will take on the Denver Outlaws, who won Saturday’s first semifinal in dramatic fashion, scoring 10 unanswered goals to win, 13-12.
Chesapeake’s victory held special meaning for Turner, who was benched three games into the 2011 season in favor of Jordan Burke and then watched from the sideline as the Cannons won the MLL championship.
Turner was thrilled the Cannons won the championship, but never felt like he was a backup goalie.
So when Chesapeake selected him with the 13th pick of the expansion draft, he made the most of it, leading the Bayhawks to a 10-4 regular season, while allowing a league-best 10.51 goals per game.
Early in Saturday’s game, Turner’s hard work looked like it might be for naught as the Cannons found the back of the net with eight of their first 12 shots on goal.
However, Turner regrouped and held the potent Boston attack to just two goals in the final 30 minutes.
“I stunk in the beginning of the game,” said Turner. “We we’re letting Boston get to spots that we didn’t want them to get to and they did a good job with their shooting and I just needed to keep fighting. But It feels great to get to the championship game. We’ve got some work to do tomorrow.”
He received help from teammate Ben Rubeor, who exploded for six second-half goals that wound up being the difference in the game.
There was no lack of offense early. Kevin Buchanan (assisted by Mike Stone) got the scoring started for the Cannons, ripping a shot past Turner 1:53 into the game.
Stone netted his second goal of the game to put Boston up, 5-1, midway through the first quarter, but Chesapeake’s Kyle Dixon scored the most impressive goal of the game on the Bayhawk’s next possession. Dixon unleashed a vicious shot that Burke deflected straight up. Dixon then leaped into the air and in one motion caught and fired a shot over the Boston goalkeeper.
Dixon’s goal was the first of seven straight (two 2-pointerss) by Chesapeake, which took a 9-8 lead into the third quarter.
The second half belonged almost entirely to Turner and Rubeor, with Turner at one point stopping 13 of 14 shots. Starting late in the third quarter, Rubeor put on his own personal show, scoring four straight unanswered goals for the Bayhawks.
“Our shots were going in early and then Turner ended the first half on a high note, by making some really good saves and I think that carried momentum into the second half,” said Mike Stone, who led the Cannons with three goals and two assists. “It was just a story of two different half’s for us.”
By the time Rubeor netted his sixth goal to make it 16-9 with 7:15 to play, the game was all but out of reach.
“I don’t know if I can blame Boston for giving Tuner up because they’ve got Jordan Burke and he’s definitely one of the best goalies in the league, but Kip has been huge for us all season,” said Rubeor. “He’s really been a difference maker. He makes some saves that you don’t expect him to make and those are the ones that can change a games and I thought we saw that happen today.”