By MLL Statistics and Information | 8/27/11 5:00 PM
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Led by two goals and an assist from rookie attackman Jeremy Boltus, the Hamilton Nationals earned their second Major League Lacrosse Championship Game berth in three years with an 11-9 victory over the Denver Outlaws in the second semi-final of the 2011 Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend at rain-soaked Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Nationals, who defeated the Outlaws for the 2009 title, will face the top-seeded Boston Cannons in the MLL Championship Game on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Hamilton jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening three minutes on goals from midfielders Brett Bucktooth and David Earl. But, the Outlaws responded when attackman Drew Westervelt scored off a feed from midfielder Jarett Park to cut the margin to 2-1 with 11:30 left in the opening stanza.
But, the Nationals used a four-goal run over a five-minute span to take a 6-1 advantage with 6:16 left in the period.
The Outlaws closed the gap to 6-4 early in the second quarter with three consecutive goals, including a short-handed marker by midfielder Max Seibald. But, midfielder Jordan Hall ended the Outlaws' run by scoring off a feed from attackman Casey Powell to increase the advantage to 7-4 with 11:07 left in the first half.
A pair of goals by rookie attackman Billy Bitter narrowed the Denver deficit to 7-6 before Boltus ended the first half by scoring off a feed from midfielder Joe Walters with 11 seconds left in the first half.
Boltus and Hall scored a pair of back-to-back goals to give Hamilton a 10-6 cushion less than three minutes into the second half. But, the Outlaws trimmed the margin to 10-9 with three consecutive goals, including a goal and an assist from midfielder Peet Poillon.
But, Powell sealed the victory when he scored an unassisted goal with 8:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
While Boltus earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors with his three-point performance, Powell led the Nationals with a goal and three assists. Earl and Hall each contributed two goals for Hamilton, which outshot Denver by a 34-27 margin.
Bitter led the Outlaws in a losing effort by scoring three goals with an assist while Poillon and Mundorf each posted a goal with an assist.
MLL Championship Weekend (Semi-Final #2): Hamilton Nationals 11, Denver Outlaws 9
Hamilton 6-2-2-1 / 11
Denver 2-4-2-1 / 9
Goals: HAM - Jeremy Boltus 2, David Earl 2, Jordan Hall 2, Joe Walters 1, Casey Powell 1, Kevin Crowley 1, Brett Bucktooth 1, Jeremy Thompson 1; DEN - Billy Bitter 3, Brendan Mundorf 1, Jarett Park 1, Drew Westervelt 1, Max Seibald, Peet Poillon 1, Terry Kimener 1. Assists: HAM - Casey Powell 3, Joe Walters 1, Jeremy Boltus 1, Geoff Snider 1, Cody Jamieson 1; DEN - Brendan Mundorf 1, Billy Bitter 1, Peet Poillon 1. Saves: HAM - Scott Rodgers 3 (30:00, 6 goals allowed), Brett Queener 3 (30:00, 3 goals allowed); DEN - Jesse Schwartzman 11 (60:00, 11 goals allowed). Shots: HAM - 34; DEN - 27. Power-Play Opportunities: HAM - 0 for 4; DEN - 3 for 7. Attendance: n/a.