By Samantha Blair | 6/6/14 2:30 PM
Denver Outlaws at Charlotte Hounds
Saturday, June 7 – 7:30 PM EST – American Legion Memorial Stadium
The Denver Outlaws (5-0) travel to Charlotte to play the Hounds (1-4) for the second time in two weeks. After a strong showing last week, the Hounds hope to end Denver’s 25 consecutive regular season game winning streak, the longest in MLL history.
Last Time Out:
Denver: The Outlaws continued their unbelievable streak last week, taking down the Hounds 13-11. After Charlotte scored the first goal, Denver made sure to remind everyone who was boss. Michael Simon, John Grant Jr. and Eric Law responded with four unanswered goals. The second quarter proved a little more difficult for the Outlaws, who battled back and fourth, coming into the half 9-6. The Hounds came out second half ready to play, and pulled through with a two-pointer, putting Charlotte briefly in the lead. However, Denver never fails to get the win. Both Bocklet brothers and Coca-Cola Player of the Game, Grant all scored to seal the deal.
Charlotte: The Hounds fell to the Outlaws 11-13 in last weekend’s game, but not without a fight. John Haus opened the game with the first goal, giving the Hounds the first point in a back and forth battle. Coming into the second quarter down by 4, Charlotte rallied two goals to close the gap 4-6. Rookie, Thomas DeNapoli scored one of the two goals. After a slow third quarter, the Hounds claimed the lead with Matt Danowski scoring a two-pointer off of an assist by rookie, Justin Ward. Unfortunately, the lead was short lived, as the Outlaws scored three more goals to end the game, and defend their title.
Rematch: It’s not too often a team has the same opponent two weeks in a row. In Denver’s case, they have momentum and confidence on their side. As for Charlotte, the wounds are fresh and redemption is a driving motive. What can each team do better from last weekend’s match? Which mistakes cost Charlotte the game, or made Denver fall behind? This game provides a unique opportunity to see if the teams will capitalize on the repeat competition and prove that they can learn and adapt from their errors.
Battling Back: Considering their record, the Hounds came awfully close to upsetting Denver’s victory streak last week. Scoring the first goal and pulling into the lead during the fourth quarter showed that Charlotte cannot be underestimated. They will relentlessly battle despite the score, and given the chance they will pull ahead. Due to the timeliness of the rematch, Denver should expect the Hounds to be fired up and out for blood.
Facing-Off: Denver is constantly praised for its strong offense as a whole, but often the success of some individual Outlaws is less well known. Anthony Kelly, face off specialist is a key member of the midfield. While notes of his 56.7% winning percentage appear in game recaps, the long-term success of Kelly is underappreciated. Kelly holds the record for most face off points at 1,308. He only needs 37 more face-offs to reach 2,600 attempts. This weekend on the other side of the X will be Charlotte’s Tim Fallon, who currently has a 47.7% success rate. Kelly’s nine years of experience versus Fallon’s four shows in the league standings. Kelly is currently fourth while Fallon trails at ninth. In their second consecutive battle, will Kelly hit 2,600 face off attempts? And if he does, will he continue his impressive winning percentage or stumble against the Hounds?
Players to Watch:
Denver: John Grant Jr. has been tearing up the field lately. Coming off of last game with four goals and one assist, Grant was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game. In the last two games he’s scored at least five points. With six points, 1 goal and five assists in the Rochester game two weeks a go, on top of his amazing performance last week, Grant has incredible momentum coming into this week’s game.
Charlotte: Matt Danowski is a constant threat from behind the 2-point line, finishing last season with six 2-point goals. The defense cannot leave him alone back there with any time or room, because he will get the shot off. The Hounds had their brief moment of glory in last weekend’s game when Charlotte finally found the lead after Danowski’s 2-pointer assisted by rookie, Justin Ward. After a disappointing loss, the team will be looking to Danowski to keep up with Denver’s high scoring offense this weekend.
Denver: Eric Law is third in the league, holding fifteen goals and six assists for a total of twenty-one points. John Grant is tied for fifth with twelve points, while Sieverts is tied for ninth with fifteen points. Anthony Kelly is fourth in the league with 55-96 faceoffs, and both Kelly (24) and Matt Bocklet (24) lead the team for ground balls.
Charlotte: Mike Sawyer leads the Hounds with nine points, while Ryan Young has a team high of four assists in addition to three goals. Defenseman Ryan Flanagan leads the team with 20 groundballs and faceoff midfielder Tim Fallon is 51 for 107 at the X. Adam Ghitelman has stepped in for injured Goalie Pierce Bassett, boasting a .527 save percentage in two games.
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 25 consecutive game regular season winning streak.
Charlotte: Charlotte is last in the league for ground balls with 120 points, trailing behind seventh place, Chesapeake by 14 points.
Root on your favorite team as they battle for the second week in a row. Sport their logo on a pair of sweet Sublimated Socks! Get yours here, or check out the rest of our great merchandise in the MLL Shop.
Can’t make it? Then tune in to ESPN3 Saturday, June 7th at 7:30 p.m. (EST) as the Denver Outlaws face off against the Charlotte Hounds at the American Legion Memorial Stadium.