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Charlotte Hounds Week 7: Bark With No Bite

Editor’s Note: Welcome Lance Antoine back to LAS! Lance is following the Charlotte Hounds a little more closely this Summer, and here is his Week 7 Report on the Dawgs out of North Carolina. They’re still looking up!

Photo Credit: 24 Seven Lax

There was a whirlwind of news surrounding Charlotte this week, whether it related to Jake Tripucka, or the Hounds’ impressive win last week, it was some pretty big news.

There was also big speculation over who would win this week in the Charlotte vs. Boston game, as both teams really wanted to get that W. In an earlier story, LAS named this match-up to be one of the most interesting of the year, due to the talent and also the trash talking between the teams’ fans.

In this case, Boston earned bragging rights, and got their second win of the year. Saturday the Cannons beat Charlotte, at Charlotte, with a final score of 15-13. The loss puts Charlotte with an overall record of 3-4, dropping them below the all-important .500 win percentage.

Charlotte only beat Boston in two categories, shots on, and shots off, goal. Charlotte only managed to snag 24 ground balls and 13 face-offs. Even though Charlotte had less points in the end, they had more heart in my opinion, and this was the only reason the score was as close as it was.

Ryan Young and the rest of the team’s spirit, to never give up bodes well for the future. Other than Young’s efforts, Danowski, Sawyer, Fallon, and Flanagan were also big parts of the Hound’s great effort. Danowski stepped up and put up 3 goals and 1 assist, although he could have had a lot more points, as he hit pipe at least 4 times. He has proven himself consistent player in attributing points and has earned his spot as one of the top dogs on the team.

As I had mentioned in last week’s piece, you’re going to want to keep your eye on Sawyer, and he showed us why again a couple nights back. Sawyer netted one goal and also got an assist, but he had two shots on goal and three off. In the near future I’m expecting a 3+ goal game out of him, along with a consistent season long scoring pattern. It’s just a matter of time.

Going back to face-offs now, Fallon had a good game. The only reason he didn’t excel in stats was because Chris Eck was on fire. Fallon did manage to create points off of face-off wins by scoring 2 goals in a quick transition-like form. He managed to get 3 shots on goal along with 7 ground balls.

In a nut shell, Charlotte’s offence was on fire in the first quarter scoring 6 goals total. They lost momentum and didn’t score in the second as Boston’s D really tightened up, and Jordan Burke made some big saves. The Hounds came out hungry in the third, but thanks to Jordan Burke’s AMAZING tending they were held to only 2 points.

In the fourth they gave it all they had, putting up 5 goals, but by then Boston was already too far ahead, and controlling the game. Defensively, the Hounds were slow to double team which the Cannons found out early and used it to the fullest advantage. Ghitelman had his moments where nothing could get past him, and he BLASTED Will Manny at one point, but more than that, there were a few things in the net that didn’t belong there.

Keeping in mind that there’s no such thing as an easy save in the MLL, Ghitelman had some slip past him that should’ve been in his stick. I’m sure you have heard the saying ” A goalie is only as good as his defense”, well in Saturday’s case Ghitelman did not get much help, which showed up on the scoreboard.

Despite all the above, Ryan Flanagan managed to completely shut down Paul Rabil. Rabil is one of the fastest, smartest, and best players of all time, and Flanagan set out tonight to prove otherwise. Rabil was held to only 4 shots. Rabil is a key part of the Cannons’ team, and Flanagan’s ability to hold him down tonight definitely was a key reason the game was within two points.

After this tough loss you can expect the Hounds to go back to the drawing board. I think they’ll come out next week as explosive as they came out this week. The key for them will be to score in the second and keep it going throughout the game. A full four quarters is key for this franchise right now.

Charlotte should come out with a chip on their shoulders next week against the Bayhawks. The season is still is still young, and it’s anybody’s guess right now to who will be crowned champion. Even with this loss Charlotte’s chance is still as good as ever to go all the way this season. If the Hounds want to make that happen, they will definitely need to test the Bayhawks this weekend. At the very least, they just need to put together a full game.