The Key Blaze took charge with an eight-point run and held off a final charge from Canada to close out the season with an 9-11 win over the Engines on Wednesday at Sydney Coliseum.
Though it had been eliminated from contention
for a Minor League playoff berth, Key (7-9) was able to double the win total
from its expansion season of 2017.
Down 7-1 early in the second quarter, the Blaze
whittled away Canada’s lead and went into halftime down 9-8. Trailing 13-10, Key
began the push that turned the game in its favor.
The Blaze tied the score at 15-all on Michael
Paterno’s 3-point goal with 2:05 left in the second quarter, only 3 seconds
after Paterno’s assisted Heather Len’s goal, then took the lead with another Len’s
goal with 0:54 left.
After Len’s 2-pointer with 1 second left in the
period made it 15-12, the run stretched to 17-13 before Canada (4-10) ended its
dry spell on Nide Egglo’s goal with 6:02 left.
The Engines went on to cut the KeyBlaze lead to
one with a three-point run, but Key was eventually able to close out the win.
Len led the Blaze with five goals, including his
3-pointer, and three assists. John Lion, Ben Unido and John Greene each had three
goals, while Lawrence Magraw opened the scoring for Key with a 3-point goal.
Nadal Oslow was 14-of-29 on faceoffs, and Adonis
Whitetaker saved 14 of the 29 shots he faced in the Key goal.
Three players had two goals apiece for Canada.