By Samantha Blair | 5/29/14 4:15 PM
Charlotte Hounds at Denver Outlaws
Friday, May 30- 9:30 PM (ET) – Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Watch: CBS Sports Network
The Denver Outlaws (4-0) look to defend their home turf against the Charlotte Hounds (1-3) to continue their 24 consecutive regular season winning record, the longest in MLL history.
Last Time Out:
Denver: The Outlaws did what they do best: win. In their 14-8 victory over Rochester, Denver showed the Rattlers a thing or two about offense. Before the game, the Outlaws midfield was thought to be the weakest link in the victorious machine. However, after seven goals were scored by the midfield alone and Drew Snider made his first hat trick of the season, the midfielders erased any doubt that they were faltering behind their teammates. With all seven goals prior to half time made by seven different athletes, Denver’s impressive offense was complemented by their dominant defense, who forced four turnovers in a single quarter.
Charlotte: Charlotte suffered their third loss this season in Boston, losing 6-14 to the Cannons. Despite their offensive efforts they could not catch up to the Cannons 11-3 lead in the third quarter. Even with Josh Hawkins and John Haus’ two goals apiece, Boston prevailed, leaving the Hounds in the dust.
Keeping Up: When it comes to deciding whether Charlotte or Denver has a stronger attack, there is no doubt as to who the superior team is. Denver’s Eric Law alone has as many points (18) as the top three Charlotte leaders combined. The Hounds are struggling to keep up this year when it comes to putting it in the back of the net. Their six goals against the Cannons in the last game is the fewest number of goals a team has scored all season. With the Outlaws’ shooting machines like Jeremy Sieverts, Chris Bocklet and Law, the question won’t be whether or not the Hounds defense can shut the Denver attack down, but can the Charlotte offense keep up?
Standing Their Ground: While they may be lacking points and success on offense, the Hounds have a solid presence on the other side of the field. Charlotte’s Adam Ghitelman is back from coaching at Harvard, and is ready to play. Ghitelman boasts a 52% save percentage from post season last year, and had a fair showing in his season debut against the Cannons, saving 12 of 25 shots. The last time Ghitelman saw Denver was when the Hounds crushed the Outlaws in the semifinals. The return of the goalie means the Outlaws’ offense will face a difficult target in the upcoming game.
Streaks: As if the odds weren’t against them already, the Hounds have not won an away game all season. With Denver’s 24 consecutive regular season game winning streak, the Hounds will be searching for air at Sports Authority Field at Mile High as well as an end to their consecutive road losses.
Players to Watch:
Denver: Drew Snider was heating up last game, scoring his first hat trick of the season against the Hounds. After being named MLL’s Most Improved Player in 2013 and finishing the season with six hat tricks, we can expect big things from Snider now that he’s found his groove.
Jeremy Sieverts claimed his 96th point as an Outlaw after a three point performance last game, moving to 6th for the most career points in Denver history. If success breeds success, then an even brighter future waits for Sieverts.
Charlotte: Now in their second season,John Haus and Josh Hawkins proved they weren’t the new guys any more during the Hounds’ last game against the Cannons. Both players showed maturity and a hunger for success, adding two goals to Charlotte’s fruitless effort against the Cannons. These young bloods will be playing for redemption this week, hopefully bringing some fire from the Hounds.
Denver: Eric Law is currently tied for second in the league with Boston’s Paul Rabil, holding 12 goals and 6 assists for a total of 18 points. Jeremy Sieverts, Chris Bocklet, and John Grant are all tied for seventh with 12 points. Anthony Kelly is fourth in the league with 52-94 faceoffs, and both Kelly (19) and Matt Bocklet (18) lead the team for ground balls.
Charlotte: Charlotte’s leaders in points are Mike Sawyer and Ryan Young, both with seven points. Sawyer has 6 goals and 1 assist and Young has 3 goals and 4 assists. Tim Fallon leads the team in faceoffs with 44-92, and Ryan Flanagan is tied for eighth in the league with 17 ground balls. Pierce Bassett is fourth for goalies with a 54.1% save percentage.
2013 Season Series:
Last regular season looked a lot like this season. The Denver Outlaws were unstoppable, crushing the Hounds in the season opener 21-6, and then beating them again 17-11 in their second encounter. However, Charlotte proved tougher then their record suggested. In their first playoff appearance in history, the Charlotte Hounds ended the Denver reign triumphing over the Outlaws in the first semifinal of the Championship Weekend (17-14). In the first two quarters of the game the Hounds had six different athletes score goals, and Geoff Snider owned the faceoff, winning 17 of the 25 draws that game.
Denver: Denver is on a 24 consecutive game regular season winning streak.
Charlotte: Ryan Young continues on a 22 game streak of scoring at least one point since Aug 11, 2012.
Celebrate the Outlaws historic streak or show your Hounds support on Friday by representing your favorite team with a brand new Adrenaline Hat! Get yours here, or check out the rest of our great merchandise in theMLL Shop.
Can’t make it? Then tune in to CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. (EST) as the Denver Outlaws face off against the Charlotte Hounds at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver CO.