By Jessica Braveman | 7/31/14 10:20 AM
As we enter Week 13, three teams (Rochester, Denver and New York) have clinched the playoffs, leaving one spot available, and two teams (Chesapeake and Charlotte) have been eliminated. With only two regular-season games remaining, the 2014 Rookie Class will push to make final impressions, and for three teams (Ohio, Boston and Florida), hopefully make the playoffs. Here is a look at the rookies who made an impact this past week:
In this week’s overtime victory over Denver, rookies Tom Schrieber and Derek Maltz made appearances. It was a tough battle for both teams, and although the Machine came out on top, both Schrieber and Maltz were held without any goals, assists or groundballs.
The Rattlers have taken sole possession of first place in the league standings before heading into the playoffs. Rookie Jordan Wolf continues to perform at an elite level tallying five goals and two assists against the Charlotte Hounds last weekend. His performance earned him the Coca-Cola Player of the Game for the third time this season. He has accumulated an astounding 26 points in five games. Mark Cockerton netted two goals for the Rattlers, tallying a total of 18 points for the season. Miles Thompson had a quiet game with just one assist. The Rochester Rattlers have secured a spot in the playoffs and are looking stronger than ever.
This weekend’s loss to Chesapeake featured only one Lizards rookie. As usual, Joe Fletcher put on a strong performance on defense, picking up two groundballs and clearing the ball up the field multiple times. Playing right along the crease, Fletcher has become an important factor in goalie Drew Adams’ protection, and intercepted the ball twice in front of the net on Sunday.
Launch rookie Kieran McArdle had another monster game last week. In fact, his 10 points (five goals, five assists) in Florida’s 23-17 win over Boston were the most by any player in a single game this season. McArdle was named Cascade Rookie of the Week for the second time (his first honor coming in Week 4) and is now tied for second in the league with 30 goals scored. His 30th goal also tied the rookie single-season record, which has been held by Kevin Huntley since 2008. The only other rookie to dress last week for Florida was Joe Meuer, who picked up one ground ball and went 0-for-2 at the X.
Colin Dunster played his best game of the season, picking up two groundballs and making two goals in last weekend's loss to Ohio. Jeremy Noble also contributed to the rookie efforts with one groundball.
Another week and another loss, but it was not for a lack of production from the Hounds first years. Justin Ward recorded three assists, for the fifth time this season. Mike Chanenchuk scored one goal and Thomas DeNapoli had an assist. Brendan Fowler took all 26 faceoffs against Rochester’s MLL All Star John Ortolani, and won 50 percent of the battles at the X. Henry Lobb, Michael Ehrhardt and Pat Laconi all played significant minutes. Defenseman Nico Capron made his MLL debut, after spending the 2013 playing abroad in England. In his first game with the Hounds, Capron recorded one groundball.
The only good thing about the dismal 23-17 loss against the Florida Launch last weekend was that Austin Kaut got a substantial amount of playing time (almost a full 20 minutes), and let in half as many goals as Jordan Burke. Rob Emery wasn't able to get more than four shots on net, and Scott McWilliams played, but to little defensive avail as the Launch rocked the Cannons.
Chesapeake dressed rookies Mark McNeil and Jack Runkel. McNeil collected one groundball for the Bayhawks in their thrilling one goal win over the New York Lizards.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest information on the MLL’s 2014 Rookie Class.