By Ally Annear | 6/8/12 9:00 AM
Watch & Follow: Cable 14 (Sun 7pm), TWC Rochester, Syracuse, TWC Albany, TWC Buffalo, TWC Wisconsin, Brighthouse (6/10 3pm), ESPN3, Live Blog
The Big Picture: The Hamilton Nationals will host the Rochester Rattlers this Saturday, June 9 at 7 PM ET. The Nationals are currently 1-3 and coming off of their first win of the season 18-17 over the expansion Charlotte Hounds last weekend. Last weekend the Rochester Rattlers defeated the first place Boston Cannons 17-16 in OT to improve to 2-2 on the season.
Hamilton Nationals: The Nationals are coming off of their first win of the season and hope to carry that momentum into their home game against the Rattlers this weekend. "The urgency is definitely cranked up," says Head Coach Regy Thorpe. "This game is huge when it comes down to head-to-heads and everything leading up to the playoffs."
Thorpe was happy to have Joe Walters back in the line-up because he has matured into the type of leader and playmaker that the Nationals need to be successful. Walters tallied 4 goals and 4 assists, while Stephen Keogh netted 4 goals in the Nationals win over the Hounds last weekend. Garret Billings also contributed 2 goals and 2 assists and Casey Powell netted 2 goals with a minute left in the game to give the Nationals the lead and eventually the win.
Players to Watch: Joe Walters was named Bud Light Player of the Game as well as MLL Offensive Player of the week for his 8 point performance last weekend. Stephen Keogh contributed 4 goals for the Nationals last weekend in his 2012 season debut. Kevin Crowley leads the team in points and veterans Brodie Merrill and Casey Powell can never be counted out when they're in the game.
Rochester Rattlers: The Rattlers hope to carry the momentum from their OT win last weekend over to this weekend in order to say in a good position for playoffs. They are currently tied for fourth in the league and according to Head Coach Tim Soudan, this game is so important because every game in this league is like a playoff game. Soudan is very confident in his team's abilities and can only see them improving as the season progresses.
"Once we got all of our guys back, we just felt so much more confident last weekend," says Soudan about the win in OT over the Cannons. "The guys believe in each other." Nine different Rattlers scored last weekend with Ned Crotty leading the team with his 3 goals and 2 assists effort. Matt Striebel contributed 3 goals, including a 2-pointer, and an assist, while Jordan MacIntosh tallied 2 goals and an assist in the win.
Players to Watch: Ned Crotty was named the Bud Light Player of the Game for his five point performance last weekend. Matt Striebel also contributed five points in the OT win and Jordan MacIntosh tallied 3 points. Steve DeNapoli remains consistent for the Rattlers along with John Galloway who had 17 saves in the win.
Next Match-ups: The Nationals travel to Chesapeake to face-off against the Bayhawks on Saturday, June 16 at 7 PM ET at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Rattlers head to Denver to face-off against the Outlaws on Saturday, June 16 at 9:30 PM ET at Mile High Stadium.