As the 2013 Season closes so does our weekly review of notes, numbers, recaps and previews. Here for one final time the recaps and numbers from a successful Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink.
Charlotte Hounds 17, Denver Outlaws 14
The Charlotte Hounds upset the previously undefeated Denver Outlaws in the first semi-final game of the weekend, with a final of 17-14. Even with Eric Law’s nine-goal game, Denver could not recover from the first quarter. The Hounds entered the game and made a statement with eight points on six goals during the first 15 minutes of play, keeping the Outlaws to only two goals. Mike Sawyer would complete a hat trick before entering the second quarter, eventually earning Player of the Game honors. Law answered with four goals before halftime, as both teams put up five points to make it 13-7. Denver had the advantage in the second half, holding Charlotte to a single point off a Matt White goal. Denver still trailed, 17-12 in the last minutes of the game, when veteran Brendan Mundorf and Law each contributed a point, but it just was not enough, and the Hounds ended the Outlaws undefeated season, advancing to the Championship Game.
Chesapeake Bayhawks 13, Hamilton Nationals 12
The Chesapeake Bayhawks advanced to the Championship Game after a 13-12 victory over the number three seed, Hamilton Nationals. Michael Kimmel set the tone for the Bayhawks, grabbing a two-point goal four minutes into the game. Hamilton quickly made up for the deficit though, with three back-to-back goals to close out the first quarter. The Nationals were consistent with another three in the second quarter, but goalie, Brett Queener allowed four into the net, including two from Ben Hunt. Hamilton’s five goals in the third quarter only got them so far, handing over five to the Bayhawks in the final 15 minutes. It was a game of back-and-forth that was ultimately won by the Bayhawks, thanks to Kimmel, who slashed three goals and grabbed four points on the night. He was named Player of the Game, Chesapeake’s leading scorer, sending them to the Championship for the third time in four seasons.
Chesapeake Bayhawks 10, Charlotte Hounds 9
The Chesapeake Bayhawks are the 2013 MLL Champions after defeating the Charlotte Hounds, 10-9, on Sunday, August 25. In a low scoring game, John Grant Jr posted four back-to-back goals, earning him Championship Weekend MVP honors. Charlotte was the first to score, but at 1-0 this was the only time they would lead in the game, as the Bayhawks went up 3-2 in the first quarter. A low scoring second quarter included only two goals from John Grant Jr. Through three quarters Ryan Young was the sole scorer for the Hounds with four goals, it wasn’t until the fourth that Peet Poillon and Mike Sawyer would contribute. With two goals from Drew Westervelt, the Bayhaws were up 10-7 in the final seconds of the game. Charlotte captain Matt Danowski sent a two-pointer sailing past Kip Turner in the last second of the game to bring the final to 10-9. This is the Bayhawks second consecutive championship and fifth in club history, the most in MLL.
Eric Law’s nine goals in the semi-finals are the most single game goals in playoff history. While it was not enough to send the Outlaws to the finals, it was a career high for the rookie, and an MLL record.
In total, 71 goals were scored over the course of Championship Weekend, the Hounds scored the most single game goals with 15 in the first semifinal.
The Bayhawks scored 25 goals between both their games, leading all four playoff teams in goals.
Ryan Young led all players in the playoffs with 10 points, scoring seven points in the first game of the weekend and three in the Championship game.
Kip Turner came out of Championship Weekend boasting a .583 save percentage in his two games, with 28 saves, the highest save percentage of the four goaltenders.
Hamilton’s Brodie Merrill is the only defensive player to score a goal during the 2013 playoffs. Both he and Denver’s defenseman, Brian Megill, grabbed a point during the weekend.
Ryan Young not only led in points, but specifically in assists with four throughout the weekend. Chris Bocklet, Joe Walters, and Casey Powell all contributed three to their respective teams.
With their win this weekend, the Bayhawks now have five club championships, including three in the last four years. They hold the most championship titles in MLL.