Once again it was another nail-biting finish between the D.C. Breeze and the New York Empire. With a 22-21 victory, it was the fourth consecutive regular season 1-point win by the Breeze over the Empire. The win propels DC (3-1) to sole possession of first place in the East.
It has become a theme this season for the Breeze to get off to fast starts. Through Q3 Saturday the Breeze were able to record one more break than New York (2-2) on the way to a three goal lead. In the 4th quarter, though, the Empire were firing on all cylinders and finally figured out the D.C. O-line. New York reeled off three straight goals to start the quarter: one hold and then back-to-back breaks to tie the game.
In all, the final 12 minutes saw New York outscore the Breeze 5-3. Delrico Johnson‘s final break goal for the Breeze was the difference maker to go up 22-20 with six minutes left. He would finish with three goals, an assist, 9/9 throwing and a +4 +/-.
New York held serve on the next possession to make it 22-21, but then the Breeze were able to methodically wind down the clock from 1:54 left. A throwaway by Jeff Wodatch gave brief hope to the Empire, but an effective double team led quickly to a Jonathan Neeley block to get the disc right back in Breeze hands. It was Neeley’s 2nd block of the game. The O-line was 20/21 for the final line.
Leading the way on offense and defense once again was Alan Kolick with three blocks and a perfect 34/34 throwing. Of his 23 points, six were on the D-line with breaks resulting from two of them.
Rowan McDonnell had a similar stat line for the defensive unit, tallying a goal, two assists, three blocks, 12/12 throwing, and the Eastern Connecticut State University grad matched Kolick with a team high +6 +/-.
Breeze Top 5 Performers:
Alan Kolick: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 34/34 throws (+5)
Chuck Cantone: 3 goals, 3 assists, 1 block, 11/12 throws (+6)
Rowan McDonnell: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 12/12 throws (+6)
Delrico Johnson: 3 goals, 1 assist, 9/9 throws, (+4)
Lloyd Blake: 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 29/30 throws (+5)
This upcoming weekend the Breeze will make their second road trip of the season, but the first within their division. As a difficult stretch of games continues, the team heads north of the border Saturday to play the Toronto Rush (3-2) for the second time this season. Currently in second place, the Rush look to pass the Breeze for top of the division with a victory. First pull is at 5:00pm ET for a rematch of the 32-21 drubbing earlier in the year.