May 22, 2009

Toronto Downs Chicago in Home Opener

from press releases

TORONTO - In their inaugural home opener at BMO Field, the Toronto Nationals (2-0) defeated the Chicago Machine (1-1) 15-11.

Bud Light Game MVP, Merrick Thomson, tallied the first goal of the game at 2:17 off of an assist from Jeff Zywicki, putting the Nationals up 1-0. However, after a six minute scoring draught, the Machine took the lead with back-to-back goals. Kevin Leveille found the back of the net off of an assist from Jake Deane, and Chris Rotelli notched an unassisted goal, giving the Machine a 2-1 lead.

Not to be outdone, the Nationals answered back with three goals of their own. Joe Walters scored an unassisted goal that was followed by two from Roger Vyse and Athan Iannucci, assisted by Colin Doyle and Jordan Hall, respectively.  At the end of the 1st quarter, the Nationals led the Machine 4-2.

Continuing the momentum from the 1st quarter, Dan Dawson increased Toronto's lead off of another assist from Zywicki. After a back-and-forth scoring battle, Mike Leveille ended the half with an unassisted goal, sending both teams to the locker rooms with a 7-4 Toronto lead.

Chicago came out strong in the second half with two quick unassisted goals from Kevin Leveille, one of which was a shorthanded goal, putting the Machine within one.  Unfortunately for the Machine, Toronto responded with five more goals, closing out the 3rd quarter with a commanding 12-6 lead.

Undaunted by the six-goal deficit, Jarrett Park opened scoring in the 4th quarter with two goals, one of which was assisted by Brendan Cannon.  The Machine continued to power through the quarter, matching another three goals scored by the Nationals. 

The Leveille brothers connected for two goals-Mike found Kevin in front of the net for the first, and Kevin reciprocated for the second.  In a power play, Kevin notched his sixth goal of the game to bring the Machine within four.  Despite this final push from the Machine, the Nationals held on for the win. 

For the second week in a row, the Toronto attackers had an impressive showing. Thomson (3 goals/1 assist) and Doyle (2 goals/2 assists) led the team in points, and Dawson, Iannucci, and Gary Gait had two goals apiece.  Geoff Snider went 19-30 in face-offs.  Rob Scherr and Brett Queener split time in the net, with six saves on 10 shots on goal and seven saves on 14 shots on goal, respectively.  Queener was credited with the win.

Kevin Leveille (6 goals/1 assist) led the Machine, with help from his brother, Mike (2 goals/1 assist), and Park (2 goals).  Mike Gabel played the entire game for the Machine, with 12 saves on 27 shots on goal.

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