By Samantha Blair | 6/21/14 10:30 PM
The Denver Outlaws (7-1) hosted the Chesapeake Bayhawks (2-6) in another great victory, winning the contest 9-6. The Outlaws managed to make enough key plays to hold off the shorthanded but battling Bayhawks.
Denver got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, turning over the ball multiple times and failing to make any goals until midway through the first quarter. It seemed like Chesapeake’s goal to slow down the Denver offense and run the clock was working. Luckily, John Grant Jr. ended the dry spell with the game’s first goal. Curtis Dickson had one goal and Midfielder Justin Pennington added two more goals before ending the quarter up 4-0.
Denver scooped up the first of the four faceoffs in the second quarter, reestablishing themselves as the composed and consistent team we know. All-Star Eric Law came in with a huge one handed goal shot around Chesapeake defenseman Jason Noble. Chesapeake showed a glimmer of hope as Brandon Benn made the Bayhawks’ first goal of the game off of a rebound. However, Chesapeake’s glory was short lived as Drew Snider answered with a rifle of a shot to bring the Outlaws 5-1 coming into halftime.
It seemed that Chesapeake was really missing some of their main players who were out from injury, including Brendan Mundorf, Brian Spallina, Kyle Dixon, Drew Westervelt, Jesse Bernhardt, Stephen Peyser, and Michael Evans. The Bayhawks struggled to find the goal, and played a rushed and sloppy offense. It didn’t help that Team USA and Outlaw goalie Jesse Schwartzman had an incredible game and boasted a nearly perfect first half, making 15 saves and letting in just one goal. Chesapeake left the first half with double the shots on goal than Denver did (10-5), but could not score due to poor placement and execution.
Chesapeake entered the game with the lowest faceoff win percentage in the league (38%). Denver took advantage of this weakness, possessing 7 of the first 9 faceoffs, and stripping Chesapeake’s only win shortly after it was picked up.
Bayhawks Tyler Fiorito replaced goalie Kip Turner after an injury sidelined him in the first half. But the loss of their starting goalie didn’t get Chesapeake down, as they kicked off the second half with a goal by Ben Hunt. Matt Mackrides built on the momentum, making his ninth goal of the season. Law ended the Bayhawks streak, strolling in to make his second goal of the game with nearly no defense.
The Outlaws seemed to regain their composure. Schwartzman continued to make incredible saves in net, and Denver killed Chesapeake’s power play, shutting down the Bayhawks at the end of the third quarter.
It was clear Chesapeake was playing for pride, as All-Star Joe Walters put a beautifully placed shot in the back of the Outlaw net in the fourth quarter. Pete Poillon made it a two-goal game with another great shot off of Schwartzman’s weak hip, followed by two more Bayhawks goals by Poillon and Ben Rubeor. Fiorito played an amazing game, only allowing the Outlaws 2 goals in the second half.
The Outlaws began making ill-timed errors and it seemed Chesapeake was catching up. Despite the Bayhawks’ impressive come back, the Outlaws managed to seal the win. First time MLL All-Star long stick defenseman, Michael Simon scored a thrilling two pointer to give Denver the 9-6 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Next week the Chesapeake Bayhawks will play the Florida Launch at the Florida Atlantic University Stadium on June 28th at 7:00 PM ET. The Outlaws will also be on the road, playing the Rochester Rattlers at Sahlen’s Stadium on June 29th at 1:00 PM ET.
-The Outlaws are now 14-0 when playing at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
-Brendan Benn scored the second goal of his professional career.
-The game celebrated Outlaw Cancer Day. Players wore special helmets and socks to auction later in support of the battle against cancer.
-This was only the third MLL game Tyler Fiorito has played in.
-The 2014 MLL All-Star Game, which will feature Team MLL vs. Team USA, is just around the corner on Thursday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Harvard Stadium in Boston, MA. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or by calling 617-746-9933.