New York Lizards at Hamilton Nationals
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Ron Joyce Stadium, Hamilton, ON
7:00 p.m. EST
TV: YouTube (Exclusive)
Hamilton’s strong offensive output against Boston in their season debut last weekend led them to a 1-0 record, while the New York Lizards currently sit at 1-1 following a loss to the defending champion Chesapeake Bayhawks last week. Both teams look to be strong contenders for a title this year, and to this point have both been playing with under-manned rosters, so it’s safe to say that fireworks may be inescapable in this contest.
New York Game Notes
When They Last Met
August 11, 2012: Long Island – 8, Hamilton – 18 (Three Lizards, including Stephen Peyser, tallied three points; Rhys Duch and Cody Jamieson had 7 and 5 points, respectively, for Hamilton)
New York Lizards
After making a number of moves in the offseason that made them one of the best MLL squads (at least on paper), the Lizards are sitting at .500 to start their season. New York’s offensive line-up has been completely different in both contests this season, which head coach Joe Spallina attributes to their shakiness thus far. Against Hamilton, the Lizards will look to give MLL Fans what they’ve come to expect given their status as top contenders.
· “I think you’re going to see more of what people would have expected from us. Maybe not completely top to bottom, but there’s a good chance you’re going to see a couple different attackmen, there’s a good chance you’re going to see a couple different midfielders” Spallina said.
· Those pieces of that will be joining the squad this week will be NLL Rookie of the Year Mark Matthews and the returning Stephen Peyser, plus a couple of other dynamic pieces to the Lizards puzzle. Despite their performance last week, which put a blemish on their record, Spallina isn’t worried.
· “I’m pretty sure in the history of the league no one’s ever gone undefeated,” said Spallina. It’s noting that last year’s champions, the Bayhawks, did not even have the best regular season record; that distinction went to the Denver Outlaws.
Following a successful 2013 debut for the Hamilton Nationals, preparation for the match-up against New York began. Their game plan, however, may have to include an approach that doesn’t include some of their top stars still playing indoors. In carrying over the positives from their win over the Boston Cannons, Hamilton will also have to make sure they don’t over-exert themselves against a tough Lizards team that are hard to score against.
· “Hopefully we can carry some of the good things we did in the Boston game into New York. They’ve always been a tough team for us to play against, and we still have a lot of things to work on. So hopefully we clean a few things up this week and play a little better, and hopefully if we play a little better each week that usually works out well” head coach Dave Huntley said on Wednesday.
· Against imposing figures like Drew Adams in goal and Greg Gurenlian on the face-offs, Hamilton faces a tall task in mounting any sort of offense against New York. Their intent on winning may not be based on staying offensive, but rather as a defensive unit.
· “We want to play team defense, and we don’t really want to have guys feel like if they get beat it’s their fault. We really do want to defend at seven, and we want to play offense at six. That’s what our guys told me they wanted to do when I reached out to them when I got hired; they wanted to be a team and not 19 individuals or 25 individuals, depending on which way you look at it. So that’s the approach: to support each other” Huntley said.