PREVIEW: Denver vs Charlotte

By: Jackie Loson, March 18, 2016

PREVIEW: Denver vs Charlotte

Championship Weekend Presented by Smartlink

Semifinal 1 – Denver Outlaws (#1) vs. Charlotte Hounds (#4)

Saturday, August 24 1 p.m. PPL Park Chester, Pa.


Radio:  MLL Radio


The Denver Outlaws and the Charlotte Hounds will meet in the first semi-final matchup of Championship Weekend, presented by Smartlink, this Saturday, August 24 at 1 p.m. (ET). The game will be played at PPL Park in Chester, PA, with the winner advancing to the finals Sunday, August 25 at 3 p.m. (ET). Fans can see both events live on ESPN2 at their respective times.

Denver enters the contest as the top seed, and home team, earning their position after an undefeated regular season of 14-0, the first perfect season in MLL history. Charlotte captured the fourth and final spot, earning the club's first playoff berth in only its second year of play. The Hounds recorded a 7-7 record throughout the regular season, and will be the visiting team in the matchup.

Saturday will mark the third meeting between the two teams this season. Denver owns the 2-0 advantage, defeating the Hounds 21-16 in Week 1, and 17-11 in Week 9. In the first week of play attackman Chris Bocklet earned Player of the Game, rifling in six goals while registering a .667 shooting percentage. Anthony Kelly went 19-29 at the faceoff X, and Drew Snider tallied three assists for the Outlaws. Charlotte's captain Matt Danowski scored five and added an assist, but were without goalie Adam Ghitelman at the time.

In the second meeting of the season, Denver used a 6-0 second quarter run to fuel past the Hounds. Goalie Jesse Schwartzman put together a 27 save outing, earning Player of the Game, and setting the single-game season high for saves this year. Jeremy Sieverts [3g, 3a] and Eric Law [4g, 1a] also played well for the Colorado club. Tim Fallon went 18-31 at the faceoff X for the Hounds, a vast improvement from his 15-39 finish in the first matchup.

This weekend's meeting features two high scoring squads who have the talent and the tools to bury the ball. Denver enters the contest as the favorite, but if Ghitelman and Charlotte's defense can put together a steller performance they absolutely have a shot at this year's powerhouse. The Hounds' youth will get a real test, and will need to remain calm and confident on the big stage. Denver will look to rely on their veterans for continued dominance as they search for the program's first Steinfeld Trophy.

Be sure to tune in to ESPN2 at 1 p.m. (ET) this Saturday to see the game live. The second semi-final will follow as the Chesapeake Bayhawks take on the Hamilton Nationals at 4 p.m. (ET). CBS Sports Network will broadcast that game live. The winners of both contests will meet in Sunday's Championship Game which will be played at 3 p.m. (ET) and broadcast live on ESPN2.

Season Notes:

- Denver's 14-0 regular season is the first ever MLL undefeated season, and a club record for wins in a season.
  They extended their consecutive win streak to 20 games.

- Charlotte's 7 wins this season marked a club record.

- Jesse Schwartzman broke the single-season [9.67] and career [11.28] records for goals-against average.

- Chris Bocklet led the League in goals [42] and tied for the League lead in points [55].

- Matt Danowski finished fourth overall with 49 points this season, leading the top five scorers in points per game

- Tim Fallon finished the season with 104 groundballs, third overall in the League.

- Anthony Kelly's 195 faceoff wins set a club record, and marked a career best.