I’ve been waiting for a weekend of truly unpredictable Major League Lacrosse action, and on Saturday I finally got what I’d been wishing for. Out of the four games I predicted, I only got one right, and I’ve never been so happy to stink up the Swami joint.
This weekend brought my correct prediction percentage down a bit, but who cares? I’d be willing to go under 50% for the sake of real parity!
Chesapeake Bayhawks 14 – Boston Cannons 13
I broke down the Boston – Chesapeake game in our Game Photos post, and it’s worth checking out just for Kim Black’s photos. My analysis is just an added bonus. You can also check out the Major League Lacrosse Experience: Chesapeake Photos for half time game photos, and some shots of the Bayhawks’ Cheerleaders.
I picked the Cannons to win 14-12 and I knew it would be close. The Bayhawks stayed out of the penalty box, got good, balanced scoring, and a good night from Kip Turner. It was an even game, and truly tough to predict.
LI Lizards 14 – Denver Outlaws 8
Long Island’s D came up big again, and their athletic poles are really the difference maker for them. It allows Long Island to be aggressive, and the Lizards do well when they work to find speed match ups all over the field.
If you can limit or contain three of four guys on Denver, the Outlaws seem to struggle a bit on offense. For most teams, shutting down Mundorf, Matthews and Poillon is an extremely tall order… but it seems like Long Island can do it quite efficiently. This is why Long Island is still my top team right now, even if the standings don’t agree.
Charlotte Hounds 17 – Ohio Machine 16
I called this game the toughest prediction of the week, but I gave the nod to Ohio at home, thinking their veterans would be able to experience their way to a win. So close. Charlotte came in to town, was ready for the expansion battle from the get go, and even Steele Stanwick’s 5 point night (1g, 4a) wasn’t enough.
Kyle Hartzell had three goals for Ohio, two of which were two-pointers. Megill also added a 2-pointer for Ohio with the longstick. That is SIX goals right there. Ohio sure does love transition! And is Hartzell the best offensive pole in the game right now? I don’t know, but his performance on Saturday alone puts him in the conversation. Beyond impressive.
Charlotte just looked good in general (besides all the longstick two point goals) and is definitely starting to find their groove. New players are fitting in nicely, and the Hounds can definitely win some more games this season.
Rochester Rattlers 17 – Hamilton Nationals 10
Why do I keep doing this to myself? My modus operandi all year has been to pick against what I think will happen when Rochester plays. If I think they will lose, I pick them to win, and vice versa. So of course last week, I thought they would lose, and I picked them to lose. And they won. I swear I’m an idiot.
Rochester was Crotty-less, and somehow, this turned out to be a good thing. Actually, I’ll tell you why it’s a good thing. Rochester relies on Crotty too much, and it makes them predictable. Without Crotty, others had to step up and play big, and the Rattlers delivered. When Crotty returns, if the other players can keep playing big, and the focus doesn’t ALL shift back to Nedwick, everyone could see the benefit.
Jordan MacIntosh just went off, and scored 5 goals to up his season total to 9. Quint MUST know who he is by now. Expect that 9 number to keep increasing. Macintosh was a stud at RIT in college, dominated in the NLL as a rookie, and is adjusting to the MLL quickly. Rumor has it he might also be joining the professional all-traditional team at some point this season.
If Rochester can keep improving on face offs, gelling more at the defensive end, and finding more guys to score (and allowing them to be involved), they become very dangerous.
Hamilton looked good in the game, but not great. There is still a ton of talent there, and the Nationals can certainly beat anyone when things go their way. My only concern for them is that the season could end before they can put together a solid run. However, with such a short playoff, anything is possible, and this team simply can not be counted out.