By Rachel Villari | 5/3/14 9:00 AM
Ohio Machine at Denver Outlaws
Sunday, May 4 – 5:00 p.m. (ET) – Mile High Stadium
Syndicated: FS Arizona, Prime Ticket, FS Midwest, FS Southwest, FS Florida, MSG+, SportsTime Ohio, TWC Wisconsin, Altitude
The Denver Outlaws look to defend their home turf on opening night against the Ohio Machine, who had a victorious season opener last weekend against the Charlotte Hounds.
Last Time Out:
Ohio: The Machine kept last season’s Championship Weekend finalists out of the double digits with a 15-8 victory over the Charlotte Hounds. Impressing even themselves, the Machine came running out of the gate, shutting out the Hounds and outscoring them 6-0. Ohio never relinquished the lead, and the final seven-goal margin was the largest win in Machine history.
Denver: The Outlaws were able to secure a win over the inaugural Florida Launch last weekend, 14-10. The Outlaws outscored the Launch 11-1 in the first half of the game, dominating in all aspects of play. However, they were shut out entirely in the third quarter as Florida battled back with five unanswered goals, eventually allowing the Launch to creep back into fighting contention but not steal the win.
Newcomers Make MLL Names for Themselves: League newcomers Peter Baum and Kyle Harrison made themselves right at home on the MLL field last weekend with hat tricks and assists. Baum was the No. 1 draft pick for the Ohio Machine in 2013, but elected to sit out the 2013 season, returning to the league this year as a first-year, showing no rust at all. Harrison played for the New Jersey Pride, the Los Angeles Rip Tide, and the Denver Outlaws from 2005-2009 in which time he accrued 57 goals and 103 points, and has since rejoined the league, never seeming to have skipped a beat.
Is this Ohio’s Year?: To be frank, the Ohio Machine have struggled from the start. In their first two seasons of existence, they have only won four games. Starting a new team can be an arduous task at times, but the Charlotte Hounds, who have just as many seasons under their belts, have a two-season record of 16-12 and made the playoffs last year. The first game of this season challenged what everyone thought of the Machine though, as they took down the Hounds much as a veteran team would. Could this be the year for Ohio to finally make the playoffs?
Home Field Advantage: The Denver Outlaws are getting a lot of recognition for their regular season winning-streak, currently topped at 21 games. Barely squeezing by with a win against the inaugural Florida Launch last week, the Outlaws hope to use Sports Authority Field at Mile High to their advantage with a 10-home game winning streak to bolster their spirits and a home opener celebration. As part of their season home-opener, the Outlaws will also be celebrating Star Wars day on the annual “May the Fourth,” as homage to the renowned movie quote “may the force be with you.”
Players to Watch:
Ohio: Kyle Harrison, Jake Bernhardt, and Peter Baum led the Machine’s offensive barrage, earning hat tricks in the process. Harrison opened scoring for the game, netting his first of the season just 45 seconds in. He and Baum also both had an assist. Goaltender Scott Rodgers was an unstoppable force in net, blocking 23 out of 31 shots on goal and helping the defense shutout the Hounds in the first period.
Denver: Two Outlaws’ also scored hat tricks, leading Denver to victory over the Launch. Chris Bocklet scored three goals and assisted two others and MLL sophomore Eric Law had three of his own and an assist as well. Anthony Kelly won 14 out of the 26 faceoffs he took and scooped seven groundballs en route to dominating the midfield.
Ohio: Ohio leads the League in recorded hat tricks thus far in the season with three in a single game. Baum, Harrison, and Marcus Holman are currently tied for first on the team for points with four each.
Denver: Bocklet is tied for third in the League and leads the Outlaws with five points.
2013 Season Series:
The Ohio Machine, who went 2-12 last year, were unable to earn any victories against the undefeated Denver Outlaws. The Outlaws visited the Machine first, winning 13-8, and then stood their ground at home with a tough 19-5 victory to finish out the series.
Support the home team by wearing this official sideline cap. Find it here or click on the image