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Week 12: Dog Day of Summer

EN: Welcome Lance Antoine back to LAS! Lance is covering the Charlotte Hounds this year in-depth and has a great game report from their last game below.

This had to be my favorite game of the season, for a few reasons. For starters, I was actually at the game, and thanks to Connor Wilson, I was able to catch the game from the press box. Secondly, the Hounds won a tough road game, and I think seeing a tight MLL contest in person was the best part.

The final score was 13-10, the Hounds snagged 25 ground balls, 14 of 25 face-offs, and got off 37 shots. I have to say, for some time I thought the game belonged to the Machine,but once we get going you’ll see why the game went as it did.

Kiel Matisz scored almost instantly for the Machine, and we got some “monkey see, monkey do” action as Marcus Holman followed Matisz with a goal of his own, giving The Machine an unpredictable two point lead early in the first quarter. Charlotte wasn’t entirely out of it though, and Ryan Young scored with about 7 minutes left to cut the lead in half.

In the first quarter Charlotte totaled 3 penalties from 3 different players, which could have put the Hounds down by a lot more early on. The Hounds’ D answered though, and Young’s goal marks the 14th consecutive game where he has registered a point.

In the second quarter, the Hounds came out hungry and played one of their best second frames I’ve ever seen. The Hounds came out and put up 5 goals uninterrupted, and they did so with incredible quickness. Scoring for the Hounds on their 5 point streak was (in order) Mike Sawyer, Eric Lusby, Ryan Young, Matt Danowski (with a two pointer), and lastly off a power play Peet Poillon.

Joe Cummings ruined it for the Hounds and netted one for Ohio, but there wasn’t a lot of time to worry, as Charlotte sent out two answering goals from Mike Sawyer and John Haus. Haus ended the night with two points and 3 shots on goal. Penalty wise Charlotte got one more from Flannagan for slashing.

The third quarter most definitely belonged to Ohio, but Charlotte still showed up on the board. Mason Poli and Matt Danowski both scored for the Hounds. Originally Poli’s goal didn’t count, but after review they ruled it a point. From where I was at it looked like a goal without a question, even Machine fans argued it was a goal at a point. Once again Charlotte sent a Hound to the sin bin when Joe Cinosky got two penalties off of one play.

Then we move on to the fourth quarter, and this is where it got a little too close for comfort for Charlotte fans. At the start of the fourth the score was 11-8, but Eric Lusby and Peet Poillon made it 13-8. Logan Schuss wasn’t too happy about that so he came out and put up 2 for Ohio.

Now on the scoreboard, a 13-10 lead doesn’t seem so scary, but Ohio had possession during a good portion of the final quarter and had so many chances to score. The rash of penalties was finally over for Charlotte in the fourth, whereas Ohio totaled 4 infractions. Charlotte would hold on to win 13-10, and continue their late season playoff push.

It was a great game to take in, and I really enjoyed it. I already can’t wait for the next meeting between these two teams. Thanks to this win, and the win over New York, Charlotte is back with a 6-6 record and they sit at .500 with two games left.

Two weeks ago, in Casey Powell‘s MLL return, the Bayhawks nabbed a win over Boston. This helped Charlotte’s standing as well, but what really helped was both of those two teams losing again the week after to the Outlaws and Nationals. Charlotte currently resides in fourth place, where they would like to remain (in the top 4) for the rest of the regular season.

On Saturday, Charlotte takes on Hamilton at the Hounds’ home field. This is a big game for Charlotte, mainly in part to having this two game win streak and their current rank in the standings. Charlotte lost to Hamilton before, but now that the stakes are higher they’re coming out with a chip on their shoulders. With Hamilton clinching a playoff spot, this game is definitely a winnable one for Charlotte, but it will be no easy task.

Until next week.. Go Hounds!