By Molly Shunney | 7/4/14 9:00 AM
Rochester Rattlers at Charlotte Hounds
Saturday, July 5 - 7:00 PM ET – American Legion Memorial Stadium
The Rochester Rattlers (6-3) are sitting comfortably in second place as the playoffs approach. The Charlotte Hounds are hungry for their third consecutive win. They are tied with the Boston Cannons for the fourth and final MLL playoff spot.
Last Time Out
Rochester handed the Denver Outlaws their second regular season loss last Sunday at Sahlen’s Stadium. Rochester offensively dominated the first half with 11 goals, taking advantage of Denver goalie Jesse Schwartzman’s out-of-character performance. Though the Outlaws fought to catch up in the second, the Rattlers held them off for a 19-14 at-home win.
The Charlotte Hounds defeated the Boston Cannons last Saturday for the first time ever in their three-year existence. The Hounds were down 9-6 at the end of the third quarter, but came booming back in the fourth scoring eight goals to end the game 15-12.
Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good
The Denver Outlaws have been the team to beat since the 2013 season. A few weeks back when Kevin Leveille broke the all-time scoring record, he mentioned how well the Rattlers were connecting on and off the field. Their win over Denver solidifies the significance of that connection and gives the Rattlers an edge that can be lethal to their opponents.
The Charlotte Hounds defense will need to step up to the plate and keep the momentum following their notable win over the Boston Cannons. In nearly every game so far this season, the Hounds have failed to hold off their opponents to single digits. Rochester has had elite accuracy in recent weeks and will take advantage of whatever holes the Hounds leave in their defense. Ryan Flanagan, last week’s Warrior Defenseman of the Week, helped withhold the mighty Cannons and secure the win for Charlotte. Will he be a key component in this match up?
First Year Firepower
Both teams have had significant contributions from their rookies. Charlotte attackman Justin Ward recorded his fifth consecutive multi-point game, scoring two goals and tallying three assists against the Cannons. He leads the team in points alongside teammate Mike Sawyer. Mike Chanenchuk has executed for the Hounds as well, tallying 11 points in four games. The Rattlers Mark Cockerton had a career high of six points last week, earning Coca-Cola Player of the Game. He seemed to be in all the right places at the right time, and was able to capitalize on it. Jordan Wolf is without a doubt the most surprising rookie of all, tallying 16 points in only three games. It will be exciting to see these rookies go head to head Saturday night
Players to Watch
Be on the look out for Dave Lawson who had an impressive four-goal performance against the Outlaws last week. He has accumulated 18 points this season. The former Duke midfielder is in his sophomore season with the Rattlers and recently made the final cut for Team USA.
John Haus is the second leading scorer for the Charlotte Hounds. Last week, he earned Coca-Cola Player of the Game for his performance against the Boston Cannons. He has certainly improved since his first season with the Hounds in 2013. He has picked up 18 points already, compared to the five he acquired during last year’s season.
Justin Turri continues to lead the team in points with 27. Jordan Wolf is moving up the list quickly; he ranks within the top five scoring leaders on his team.
Mike Sawyer and rookie Justin Ward lead the team with 19 points each. John Haus sits right behind with 15 goals and three assists.
The Rattlers and the Hounds have yet to play each other this season. Last year, the two played back to back games. The first match up favored Charlotte 15-8. The following week, Rochester came back looking to get even. They walked away with a 13-10 win, despite Charlotte’s at-home advantage.
- After only five games, Rookie Justin Ward is already sixth in the league with 13 assists.
- The Rochester Rattlers replace The Denver Outlaws at #1 in the Week 9 Power Rankings
- First 60 Kids (U16) to stop by the Season Ticket Tent at American Legion Memorial Stadium this weekend and get their hand stamped get to go on the field at Halftime to take some shots on goal.
Will you be at Memorial Stadium on Saturday to watch the game? Grab a pair of these awesome socks and represent your Charlotte Hounds!