I pretty much nailed this week’s MLL games. I even called the Boston – Charlotte score to perfection. These early season MLL games have been pretty easy to predict, but you know it only gets harder from here on out. This time around I’ll recap the weekend’s MLL action and provide video highlights where available.
The Boston Cannons dispatched the Charlotte Hounds to go 2-0, and drop Charlotte to 0-2. The Hounds managed to put up 12 goals on Boston, but couldn’t stop the Cannons’ high-powered, team oriented offense, and the defending champs hung 20 on the new guys. Jake Beebe’s 4 goals on Opening Weekend didn’t get him in the game for Boston as Matt Poskay returned to action, and Poskay scored 5 goals to stake his claim again.
But Poskay wasn’t alone in scoring. Paul Rabil and Ari Sussman each went for 2 goals and 2 assists and Brian Farrell proved he can score at will at the pro level with a pole and dropped 2 goals of his own. Former Middlebury player, Mike Stone, had 3 goals, and is looking like a key player for Boston this year so far. Jordan Burke made 14 saves on 26 shots on cage to earn the win.
Charlotte had 4 players (Billy Bitter, Jovan Miller, Stephen Berger and Justin Smith) notch two goals and four more players each scored once. They’ll need at least one guy to consistently drop 3-5 goals a game though if they want to compete this year. I think that guy could be Billy Bitter, but I also think Brian Carrol could be a very effective weapon for the Hounds. Charlotte has solid goaltending, but could use another couple poles and another option in the midfield… or a plain old scorer at attack. So they could use a couple things, but have a solid foundation of talent.
The Ohio Machine got roughed up by the Chesepeake Bayhawks, and this is what any team can expect to face when Chesepeake’s middies are firing on all cylinders. Kyle Dixon notched three 2 pointers in the game, which gives him 36 in his career, and makes him the all-time leader in the category. Need more proof that Chespeake will live and die by their midfield? Okay, Steven Brooks had four goals and Ben Hunt also notched 4 Gs, including a 2-pointer.
Ohio got good production from former UMass players Jimmy Connolly and Brett Garber, as well as Chazz Woodson and Jordan Levine, but they will need players like Andrew Combs and Connor Martin to put up more points if they want to win games. The Ohio defense is good, and should have some built in familiarity, but I’m not sure their goaltending situation is sorted out yet. They gave up a lot of two-pointers against the Bayhawks. Ohio also needs Anthony Kelly’s numbers to go up. They have to be able to play make it, take it from the face off spot.
I wasn’t shocked that the Denver Outlaws put up 15 goals in their win over the Hamilton Nationals, and I was far from shocked that the Outlaws won. But I was surprised to say the least when I heard the Nats only put up 6 goals. They have more than enough talent to surpass that number! Hamilton got two goals from Tom Compitello, who has been switched to midfield, and this former Stony Brook player can ball. He should definitely get a lot of burn. If he becomes a faster player? Watch out! Kid has the skills to get it done.
Dan Deckelbaum had two goals and Jeff Zwycki notched 3 points on 1 G and 2 As, but overall Hamilton just didn’t get it done. Hamilton didn’t get a ton of shots off, and didn’t get many of those on cage. Only two of their poles were really scooping up GBs, and their face off work was average. There was just no shining moment for Hamilton, and that explains the 6 goal output.
Denver, on the other hand, got a definite spark and came out flying, scoring the game’s first three goals. Then, when they needed to make a run, they put away 11 straight goals and five of them came from Josh Sims. Sims also added an assist. Terry Kimener was involved from start to finish with a goal and 3 helpers for four points. Jeremy Sieverts also had 4 points, but on 3 goals and an assist, and Joe Yevoli continued his triumphant return to top notch lacrosse with 2 goals of his own.
If Denver has one hole right now, it is with face offs. Their D is looking solid and goaltending is never an issue, but face offs could be a big one. Denver’s D is good, but can they play a ton of it against the better teams in the league? That has to be the Outlaws’ biggest question mark right now.
Stay tuned later this week when I preview the Week 3 Major League Lacrosse games. If they’re anything like the first two weeks, I’ll nail the outcomes and almost nail the scores. 6-0 on predictions so far in 2012. I’ll try to keep it that way.