By Marc Finch
Peter Baum scored a team-best four goals and the Ohio Machine parlayed a 9-4 halftime lead into a convincing 19-12 win over the host Boston Cannons Saturday evening.
Baum, whose four goals gave him 20 for the season, sparked an early rally — one which saw the Machine (7-5) turn a 4-1 deficit into the five-goal halftime cushion. Once ahead, Ohio never looked back.
A good chunk of the early edge came thanks to a two-point goal from Steven Waldeck with 29 seconds left in the half and another goal from Brian Karalunas with 11 seconds to play.
Those goals came in part due to a dominant performance by the Machine face-off man, Greg Puskuldjian, who managed to win 7-of-11 face-offs in the first half at Gillette Stadium.
In the second half, the Machine kept the offensive onslaught going as Baum put up two of the team’s five goals in the third with one of them being from behind the arc for two points.
The Cannons (7-5) kept themselves in the game by putting up four goals in the third, but entering the final quarter Ohio led 15-8.
The fourth quarter saw a little more offense from Boston as it scored as many goals as the Machine, but the Ohio lead ended up being enough to close out the game with a 19-12 win.
The Machine defense was backed up by Brian Phipps, who made 21 saves that limited the Boston offense all day in the cage.
With the win, the Machine improve to 7-5 on the season and returns to Selby Stadium on July 18 at 7 p.m. when the first place New York Lizards (10-2) visit Ohio.