By Kerin Sweeney | 5/16/12 12:02 PM
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The Big Picture: The Denver Outlaws will host the Boston Cannons on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET). Both the Outlaws and the Cannons are currently undefeated with 3-0 records. The Cannons have only played at home so far this season and the altitude will be something the players will have to get used to on Saturday. The Outlaws typically perform well at home which they hope will give them the advantage on game day.
Last year, the two teams met three times during the season. At Harvard Stadium, the Cannons fell to the Outlaws 13 -12, in their first loss of the season. When the two teams met again in Denver in front of a record-breaking crowd of 27,184 attendees, the Cannons beat the Outlaws 15 - 12. In the final 2011 match between the Cannons and Outlaws, Boston won in a narrow 10-9 victory, solidifying the Cannons spot in the playoffs, which ultimately led them to the MLL Championship.
Denver Outlaws: The Outlaws have started out strong this season. Each game they have out-scored their opponent by at least 8 points. In Week 1 they beat the Charlotte Hounds (21-12). In Week 2 the Outlaws beat the Hamilton Nationals (15-6), and in Week 3 they beat The Long Island Lizards (19-11). Coach Jim Stagnitta attributes the team's success to his dynamic players and a recent boost in their attack.
“We have a lot of different guys who have stepped up and contributed at different times and I think that has been a key,” Stagnitta said. “We started the season a little light on the attack side and this weekend we were really able to shore that up by adding (attackman Brendan) Mundorf and (attackman Jordan) McBride to the mix. We certainly got points from each of those guys. We were counting heavily on (attackman/midfielder) Josh Sims to really give us a foundation down there.”
Players to Watch: Midfielder Jeremy Sieverts is not only the Outlaws leading scorer, but he is also the league’s leading scorer. This season alone he has had 11 goals, three 2-point goals and 3 assists. Sieverts was awarded his second Bud Light Player of the Game award last week. Attackman Josh Sims has only played in two games but is second place on the MLL leader board with 9 goals this season, he also has had 2 assists. Terry Kimener ranks 3rd in the league for assists, he has had 7 so far this season. Kimener also had 5 goals. Brendan Mundorf returned from the NLL last week, in his first game with the Outlaws he scored 3 goals and 1 assist, he is expected to keep up this momentum throughout the MLL season.
Boston Cannons: The Cannons have kept up their momentum from last season and like the Outlaws they have out-scored their opponents by at least 8 points each game. In Week 1 they beat the Rochester Rattlers (15-3) in a record breaking game where Cannons goalie Jordan Burke anchored a Boston defense that set an MLL record by allowing just three goals.. In Week 2 the Cannons beat the Charlotte Hounds (20-12), and in Week 3 they beat the Hamilton Nationals (18-9).
Players to Watch: Paul Rabil will surely rack up some more points this week, he already has 7 goals and 9 assists this season. Chris Eck is a big help to the offensive line, he has won 53 of 87 face-offs this season and has gotten 2 goals. Ryan Boyle had a hat trick last week against the Nationals and was named Bud Light Player of the Game last week. He also had 2 assists in last weeks game, making him only 2 away from tying the MLL all-time record of 211. Kevin Buchanan is another player to watch, last week he scored 3 goals in his first game of the season.
Next Match-Up: The Outlaws next game will be at home against The Bayhawks on Saturday, June 2nd at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET). The Boston Cannons will be playing at Rochester against the Rattlers June 1st at 7 p.m. ET.