MLL Observation: Machine on Track, Outlaws Push Record

Mark's MLL Observation

Ohio Machine at Charlotte Hounds

Expected Results

I think it’s safe to say, at least for Week 1, that the Ohio Machine got the return they were hoping for by all the moves they made in the offseason. Playing without Logan Schuss, Steele Stanwick and Kiel Matisz didn’t make a difference, except maybe in the 2nd quarter where the Machine were held to one goal before finally pulling away 3 to 0 in the fourth to take the win over the Hounds, 18-5.

The Machine finally have the midfield they’ve desperately been needing and it’s great to see Kyle Harrison tearing it up in the MLL once again.

As if you didn’t know, Scott Rodgers is a freakin’ grizzly man. He was a tank in goal and it was awesome to watch him lead the Machine to a win. On a side note, Scott is a better actor than Steele Stanwick, as seen in their US Lacrosse #CompeteWithClass commercials that ran during this weekend’s games.

C’mon Steele, at least pretend you aren’t reading cue cards!

Tough To Repeat

Charlotte had a spectacular run last season, in the second year of the franchise the squad made it all the way to championship weekend to be cut off by the Bayhawks. The special teams were rough, Tim Fallon went 10-27 at the faceoff x and was the only Hound to take a draw. In goal, Mike Gabel was Swiss cheese in the first quarter allowing six shots to find the back of the net and saved only five shots before his services were relived by Pierce Bassett, who started strong but couldn’t hang on in the final quarter. It’s clear they were missing the spark Ghitleman had last season.

With the exception of Matt Danowski, the players who should have scored, did score. Unfortunately the whole offense was having a rough time getting through the Machine defense and the human wall that is Scott Rodgers.

The Hounds do have their fan experience going for them, I still love it every time I hear the, “Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi Oi Oi!”

What they don’t have going for them is Ryan Young’s gloves. Charlotte already uses two different shades of blue in their color scheme, so why Ryan Young’s STX gloves are baby blue and gold are beyond me.

The team’s Brine Triumphs are slick, I wish the STX Cell III’s could get the colors correct.

Charlotte Hounds STX Cell 3 gloves
The colors just don’t work for me…

By the Numbers

  • 7 – Number of players to score a goal (Harrison, Baum, Connolly, Krum, Holman, Bernhardt, Cooper)
  • 23 – Saves from Scott Rodgers
  • 6 – Goals the Machine scored 6 minutes in to the 1st quarter (Harrison, Baum, Connolly, Krum, Holman)
  • 3 – Number of Hat Tricks scored by the Machine (Harrison, Baum, Bernhardt)
  • 2 – Number of goalies used by the Hounds (Gabel, Bassett)
  • 5,097 – Fans in attendance at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, NC

Denver Outlaws at Florida Launch

It was a quick jump for the Outlaws to get off to the races on the newly relocated Florida Launch. Five to nothing at the end of the first and eleven to one at halftime made for a rough start for Florida, although they were facing the only team to come off a fourteen and zero record in 2014. Considering how the wheels fell off for Denver in the playoffs, you knew they were going to come out strong in 2014.

Josh Amidon connected with Casey Powell for the first ever goal in Florida Launch history. Mario Ventiquattro and Chazz Woodson were tied up and pretty well controlled all game, the Launch will be heavily boosted by the addition of Thompson, Keogh, Jamieson when the NLL wraps up.

The Launch looked surprisingly good in the bright yellow uni’s, I think the white helmets were a perfect cap to a flashy jersey. Although fans only sit on one side of the stadium, the crowd seemed to be in to it, they just didn’t have much to cheer for early. I imagine that playing in such a beautiful venue right by the beach will be a favorite venue amongst players, except maybe on some of those brutal summer days.

By the Numbers

  • 5 – Goals scored by the Outlaws’ Chris Bocklet
  • 84 – Degrees in Boca Raton, FL, for the start of the game
  • 3 – Goals scored by Casey Powell, the Launch’s first ever hat trick
  • 7 – Point scored by Florida in the 3rd quarters
  • 21 – Consecutive regular season games won by the Denver Outlaws
  • 2 – Goalies used by Launch, Queener left with injury at halftime