By MLL Staff | 4/26/12 3:01 PM
BAYHAWKS at LIZARDS
Saturday, April 28 7PM
James M. Shuart Stadium
Watch & Follow: ESPN3, Verizon, CSN Mid Atlantic (4/29 noon), Live Blog
The Big Picture: The Long Island Lizards will host the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the season opener this Saturday at 7PM (ET). The Lizards are 11-9 all time versus the Bayhawks but Chesapeake leads the postseason matches 3-2 with all 5 meetings coming in the MLL Championship. The rivalry between them always brings great competition. Both teams will feature new leaders at the helm this season. Dave Cottle will start the 2012 season as the Bayhawks Head Coach while Joe Spallina will take over the reins this season for the Lizards. Both Cottle and Spallina were involved in coaching their respective teams last season and bring with them veteran experience.
Chesapeake Bayhawks: The Bayhawks were 6-6 last season and advanced to the 2011 MLL Championship Weekend but fell short to the Boston Cannons in the first semi-final. The team saw its shares of ups and downs last season, never having a winning or losing streak for more than two games. In the off-season the organization made several power moves including the signing of legendary MLL attackman John Grant Jr. and veteran defenseman Brian Spallina, both from the Lizards. Kyle Dixon returns for another season with the Bayhawks and is one 2-point goal shy of an MLL record (33) held by Roy Colsey.
Key Additions: Drew Westervelt, John Grant Jr., Kip Turner, CJ Costabile (2012 Draftee)
Key Losses: Kyle Hartzell, Dan Hardy, Chris Garrity
Long Island Lizards: The Lizards underwent the biggest off-season shake-up following the 2011 season where they went 5-7, just missing the MLL playoffs. With the loss of staples like Matt Danowski and Stephen Berger, the organization needed to fill gaping holes. On January 13, they addressed this in a shocking draft day trade with the Denver Outlaws and signed Max Seibald prior to the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft in Philadelphia. Some familiar faces will return to the Lizards this season like 2011 MLL Most Improved Player of the Year Stephen Peyser and 2011 MLL Goalie of the Year Drew Adams. The Lizards are also hoping for a solid season from Ryan Young, who looks to improve upon his 2011 rookie campaign.
Key Additions: Max Seibald, Grant Catalino, Rob Pannell (2012 Draftee)
Key Losses: Matt Danowski, John Grant Jr., Stephen Berger, Jay Card
MLL Analyst and host of Inside the MLL Evan Washburn takes a team-by-team look at each MLL team and shares his predictions for this year's top contenders for the Steinfeld Trophy. Read More