By Kelsey Doherty & Kyle Lange | 7/19/13 2:00 PM
Saturday evening the Charlotte Hounds will host the New York Lizards at American Legion Memorial Stadium. Both are looking for the chance to prove themselves and earn a week 11 win. Below is a breakdown and analysis based on stats and past performances, carefully weighing to determine who may have the advantage in what looks to be a close game. To watch this game and see if the predictions are correct, tune in to ESPN2 at 4:00pm ET on Saturday, July 20.
The Charlotte Hounds have put together a much more consistent offense, one that posts points regardless of who they’re playing. Even against the Denver Outlaws, the Hounds were able to post 16 points in their first game and 11 in their second game. This is more points than any other team has scored against the League’s best defense. The Lizards are dependent on Rob Pannell to produce but he alone is not enough. With only 222 shots on goal, they need to make more scoring opportunities for themselves if they want to keep pace with the Hounds.
This one is close, but Charlotte just barely has the advantage. The Hounds have the ability to zero in on a player and put a stop to their scoring, making sure they provide complete coverage. This was seen in Charlotte’s first meet up with Boston when they held Paul Rabil scoreless, unfortunately this opened up the rest of the Boston midfield and Charlotte could not hold on for a win. However, The Hounds’ ability to cover may be enough to stop Rob Pannell, and only leave scoring to Matthews and Palasek. The Lizards can also start from the “x” with an advantage, as Greg Gurenlian is expected win a majority of the faceoffs over Charlotte’s Tim Fallon.
Advantage: New York
New York’s All-Star goalie, Drew Adams, is exactly what most teams wish they had in goal. Adams’ 141 saves are a testament to his defensive skills and athleticism. Adam’s has spent more time on the field than any other goalie, with just over 598 minutes, proving to be a dependable and efficient goal tender. His .534 save percentage is nothing to scoff at either. He certainly has the advantage over Ghitelman, who shows some inconsistencies and a below .500 save percentage.
Who has the overall advantage? Charlotte
Both teams are coming off of losses and have something to prove as they approach the end of the season with win percentages below .500. The Hounds as a whole have played close games and just fallen short on several occasions. This is the second matchup between the two teams in 2013, and Charlotte walked away with the 14-12 win on May 31. Not much has changed for Charlotte since then, they’ve continued to produce goals, and remain competitive with rookies Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby. The Lizards have seen much greater deficits in their losses this season, and are currently on a three-game losing streak. The Lizards do boast a great faceoff man in Gurenlian, and a reliable goalie in Adam’s, but if they can’t find the goal at the other end of the field, faceoff wins and saves will be irrelevant. The Hounds and Lizards both are not where they want to be this season, but consistency is something they’ll need to work on if they want to win this one.