As we enter the final two weekes of regular season play, there are still some games with serious playoff implications and a chance for teams to play spoiler. Here's our weekly look back and look ahead.
Denver 14, Chesapeake 12
The Denver Outlaws remain undefeated and advance to 12-0 on the season, after earning a 14-12 win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Denver trailed early, allowing Chesapeake’s Drew Westervelt to complete a natural hat trick in the first quarter. Only Player of the Game, Jeremy Sieverts, managed to grab a point for the Outlaws in the first 15 minutes of play. He would go on to tally another couple in the second and four total goals on the night. Drew Snider also posted two for the Outlaws in the second quarter, and had a hat trick by the end of the night. Tied heading into the fourth quarter, it was Denver’s four goal run that made the difference in the game, as Chesapeake could only get two past Jesse Schwartzman to end the contest. Chesapeake is still seeking a playoff spot and rests at 7-5 on the season.
Charlotte Hounds 13, Ohio Machine 10
The Charlotte Hounds continued their playoff run as they visited the Ohio Machine and claimed a 13-10 win. The Hounds' Peet Poillon earned Player of the Game honors after posting four points including two goals and two assists. The Hounds also continue to lead the league in two point goals, thanks to another one from Matt Danowski during a five goal run in the second quarter. While the first quarter was slow, Ohio's defense was strong and the Machine led 2-1. The Hounds wasted no time turning it around and quickly took the lead in the second quarter. Ohio could never quite come back, although rookie Logan Schuss posted the lone hat trick of the night. The Hounds' Ryan Young tallied four points, and rookie Mason Poli alongside Kyle Hartzell, continue to lead all defensemen in points with 10 each.
Hamilton Nationals 17, Boston Cannons 12
The Hamilton Nationals secured a playoff spot on Saturday after taking the 17-12 win over the Boston Cannons. Hamilton started on a high note, keeping Boston to just one goal from Scott Ratliff, while the Nationals put up five goals. Goalie Brett Queener even earned a point for his team in the first. While Boston proved to be evenly matched in the following three quarters, posting just as many goals as Hamilton, but Hamilton's first five goals remained unanswered. Nationals' Garrett Thul was named Player of the Game after his five goal, six point performance, which earned him Warrior Offensive Player of the week. For Boston, Cam Flint, Mike Stone, and Kevin Buchanan each recorded three points, while Kevin Cunningham did the same for the Nationals. With this win the Nationals are now 9 and 3 on the season, while Boston drops to 5-7.
Rochester Rattlers 13, New York Lizards 12
The New York Lizards were eliminated from post-season play after taking a 13-12 loss to the Rochester Rattlers. The Rattlers came out strong with a three goal run in the first quarter, tallying five goals in total and only allowing the Lizards to find the net twice. In a game of rookies, New York’s Rob Pannell posted three goals and an assist, while Rochester’s John Ranagan grabbed an early goal, and Cascade Rookie of the Week, Dave Lawson earned Player of the Game honors with five goals Saturday. In this close matchup the Rattlers managed to keep the upper hand, never quite letting the lead slip away until the last minutes when they dropped behind, 12-11. This did not last long; back-to-back goals from Lawson and Steve DeNapoli allowed the Rattlers to secure the 13-12 win with under five minutes to play.
With their win in week 12, the Denver Outlaws have officially clinched the number one spot in the playoffs and the league.
The Denver Outlaws are now tied for the title of winningest team in MLL history, alongside the 2005 Baltimore Bayhawks who went 12-2.
In week 12, cumulatively, amongst all eight teams, there were 100 goals scored.
Jeremy Sieverts, Peet Poillon, and Matt Striebel are all tied as league leaders in two point goals, each with five.
Over the last few weeks there has been some shifting in the top ten scorers, but Paul Rabil has held the lead, now at 49 points on the season.
In week 12 Drew Adams, Adam Ghitelman, and Brian Phipps each recorded 13 saves in their respective games.
Both Kyle Hartzell of Ohio and Mason Poli of Charlotte both lead defenseman in points, with 10.
Kevin Crowley, second in the league scoring, extended his point streak to 27 games.
Ohio Machine at Boston Cannons
Saturday, August 3 4pm ET
The Ohio Machine will visit the Boston Cannons on Saturday afternoon, as the Cannons look to avoid elimination and remain in the playoff hunt. Although the Machine has been eliminated from post-season play, they have been putting up double digits in points, and arguably playing better lacrosse over the last month. The Cannons will need to come out fighting and prevent players like Logan Schuss and Steele Stanwick, from creating three or four goal runs. One weak quarter from the Boston defense could make all the difference. They’ll also need Paul Rabil, Mike Stone, and Kevin Buchanan to come out full force, with a strong start to the game. The Cannons have risen to the top, currently in third for goals scored, and they’ll have to maintain this trend over Ohio to earn the win.
Last time the met:
Boston 13, Ohio 10 (June 29)
Hamilton at Charlotte
Saturday, August 3 7pm ET
Syndicated:TWC SportsChannel (Kansas City Metro Sports) My TV 12 (Charlotte), MSG+ (SDD- 9:30PM)
In Charlotte’s last home game they will be looking to remain in the playoff hunt, and against a strong Hamilton team it is going to prove difficult. Hamilton has claimed a spot in playoffs but is still aiming to clinch the number two seed. Undoubtedly Kevin Crowley and Joe Walters will play a major role in the scoring efforts for Hamilton, as Walters not only puts up points for the team, but he also leads the League in assists, something crucial to one of the best offenses. The Hounds must rely on Ryan Flanagan, Brett Schmidt, and Mason Poli as they attempt to keep Hamilton away from the goal. Charlotte will also need consistency, as they have allowed opposing teams to go on three, four, and five goal runs, ultimately hurting them in past games. Charlotte’s key to playoff contention is covering Hamilton and avoiding scoreless quarters.
Last time the met:
Hamilton 16, Charlotte 15 OT (May 17)
Rochester at Chesapeake
Saturday, August 3 7pm ET
Syndicated:CSN (Mid-Atlantic), Altitude, TWC SportsChannels (Kansas City Metro Sports, New York, Wisconsin, Ohio), MSG
The Chesapeake Bayhawks will host the Rochester Rattlers as they seek a spot in at Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink. The Bayhawks have seen great work from Drew Westervelt as of late, including his natural hat trick in week 12, and will need him to continue performing as they try to work around Ned Crotty and Jordan MacIntosh. The Rattlers are also working to avoid elimination and will need John Galloway to continue with at least his .546 save percentage. The Rattlers however will still have to battle to get past Kip Turner, who boasts a 10.41 goals against average on the season.
Last time the met:
Chesapeake 17, Rochester 14 (April 27)
Denver at New York
Sunday, August 4 5:00pm ET
TV: CBS Sports Network
Syndicated:Altitude (TD- 7/28 1:30 AM) TWC SportsChannel (Kansas City Metro Sports, New York, Wisconsin) MSG+, My TV 12 (Charlotte), SportsTime Ohio (SDD Midnight)
The Denver Outlaws will be looking to extend their win streak to 13-0 for the most MLL regular season wins in history, but they’ll have to take on the New York Lizards to do so. The Lizards have trailed offensively, with only 120 goals on the season, putting them seventh in the league, while Denver leads the league with 197 goals. This game will prove to be a challenge for New York, as they take on an offense that includes six players that have individually earned at least 25 points on the season. This is a testament to Denver’s powerful offense, which will be looking to make it past Drew Adams in goal. New York will need helpfrom more than Rob Pannell, looking to Tommy Palasek and more importantly, strong defense from Steven Waldeck and Brian Karalunas.
Last time the met:
Denver 16, New York 7 (July 4)
Pretty in Pink: This weekend, in their final home game, the Charlotte Hounds will be sporting several pieces of pink apparel to raise awareness and support the Susan G. Komen foundation, dedicated to breast cancer research.
Playoff Scenario:This coming weekend the Hamilton Nationals could clinch the number two seed in the playoffs. To clinch this spot they’ll either need to defeat the Charlotte Hounds or clinch with a Chesapeake Bayhawks loss. If Hamilton can clinch, this means they can rest easy in their final game of the season.
Rookie Luck: Both Rob Pannell and Logan Schuss have earned a spot in the all-time top ten goals by a rookie. Rob Pannell is tied for tenth all time with 20 goals, while Logan Schuss is tied for fifth with 23 goals. With two weeks left there’s a chance they could each break the top three, but will have to pick up the pace if they want to break Kevin Huntley’s 30 rookie goals.
Staying in it: This week the two expansion teams, the Charlotte Hounds and Ohio Machine, have a chance to eliminate the Boston Cannons from playoff contention. It will take a win from Charlotte, and a win from Ohio over the Cannons for Boston to be eliminated. Charlotte will play Hamilton on ESPN3, which Boston hosts Ohio Saturday evening on the YouTube game of the week.