North Bergen had the better of the chances, but a Mike McDermott goal held up when goalie Ryan Sprague made 10 second-half saves and Bayonne snuck by North Bergen, 1-0, on Wednesday.
Each team had only one win coming into the contest and the urgency was evident on the field. No cards were issued in the cleanly played affair, but plenty of action on both ends kept fans on the edge of their seats.
“It was huge, huge momentum boost for us,” said Mike McDermott. “Now we’re 2-3 instead of possibly 1-4 and it’s such a huge difference for us going into our next game on Saturday.”
Bayonne had to weather quite a storm to escape James J. Braddock Park with the W. After missing on some good opportunities in the first half the Bruins started honing in on the frame, but Sprague was equal to every chance, some from point blank.
“I felt tonight like nothing was going in I wasn’t letting anything by me,” Sprague said. “My goal tonight was no worse than tie which meant clean sheet, that’s really what I wanted.”
“Insane,” said McDermott of Sprague’s performance. “He’s the best goalkeeper I’ve ever seen. We’re all real happy he’s back there he's huge for us.”
Of the 10 second half shots at least seven had to be considered great scoring chances. North Bergen blasted rockets from afar, scrambled shots off of set pieces, played wide and crossed well, but in the end couldn’t solve Sprague.
“They came at us so hard in the second half but we played as a team to preseve the lead, it’s a huge win for us and now we have a chance to get right back to .500,” McDermott said postgame.
The Bees next faceoff against Fair Lawn Saturday at 11 a.m. with a chance to get back to level pegging and for North Bergen, it must try to regroup from a 1-5 start with a game against Hoboken Friday at 4:30 p.m.
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