Those in attendance for the showdown between the Machine and the visiting Outlaws are quite possibly still trying to catch their breath, as Ohio outlasted Denver 23-22 in overtime Saturday at Selby Stadium.
The win, this time of the come-from-behind variety, was the team’s second straight OT victory in as many weeks.
Trailing 22-21 with just more than two minutes to play, Machine (6-6) attackman Marcus Holman poured in the equalizer, his fifth goal of the game. Then, after both teams had solid scoring chances to start the extra session, Kyle Harrison netted the game-winner from just inside the two-point line to seal the deal early in the sudden-death period.
Ohio’s 23 goals were good for a new team record, while Holman and attackman Logan Schuss both tied the squad’s single-game record with five goals apiece. After Holman and Schuss, Harrison finished with four goals while midfielder Peter Baum and attackman Steele Stanwick each had three. All 11 of Harrison’s shots were on target as he picked up game MVP honors.
Things didn’t start nearly as well as they finished for the Machine … but a lightning delay lasting just over an hour changed all that.
Ohio, down 3-0 prior to the delay, stormed back to tie things at four by the end of the first quarter, getting goals from Schuss, who had two in the opening frame, Harrison and Stanwick to lead the 4-1 spurt.
Denver opened the second quarter with a pair of goals before Machine attackman Steele Stanwick picked up his second to slice the deficit back to one, 6-5. The Outlaws added two more to open up some breathing room, but a pair of Machine goals — including Baum’s 30th of the season — tightened the margin again.
Denver finished the half up 12-9 and raced out to a 15-11 edge thanks to an Eric Law tally midway through the third, but Ohio again had an answer, scoring five unanswered to take its first lead since the first quarter.
True to the game’s form, the Outlaws answered back to take a 17-16 advantage into the fourth and, after a Denver goal, Holman scored two straight, including the fourth shorthanded goal in club history, to tie the game at 18. Denver picked up two goals split by Holman’s third of the quarter, but Machine face-off man Bobby Dattilo picked up a goal to tie it at 20. Stanwick polished off his hat trick to give Ohio a 21-20 lead, but a pair of Denver goals followed by Holman’s fifth forced overtime for just the second time in Machine home-game history.
Machine goalie Brian Phipps finished the game with 11 saves on 33 shots on goal and one groundball. Dattilo went 19-for-25 at the midfield X and picked up a club-record 12 ground balls. Fellow face-off man Eric O’Brien had a strong night as well, going 12-of-21 on face-offs and tallying seven ground balls and one assist.
Schuss and Denver’s Justin Pennington each had four goals in the first half. Alexander’s shorthanded assist was just the second such assist in team history.
Pennington and John Grant Jr. led the Outlaws with five goals each while Chris Bocklet added four in the loss.
Next up, the Machine will travel to Rochester, N.Y., to take on the Rattlers Saturday at 7 p.m.
Theohiomachine.com’s Tim Moody contributed to this report.