Photo Credit: Di Miller
The Denver Outlaws (7-3) hosted the Boston Cannons (5-5) at Sports Authority Field at Mile-High on July 4. The Outlaws had 29,718 loyal fans in attendance for their Annual July 4 Fireworks show, the best in Denver. Chris Bocklet #10, Attack was back in the line-up after missing the last three games due to an injury suffered from an illegal cross-check; but Denver would be without Drew Snider #23, Midfield who suffered an injury earlier in the week. The Outlaws had not lost a home game since June 12, 2012, but their streak would finally come to an end with the Cannons coming away with the victory 17-13.
The first quarter started out with Zack Greer #88, Attack making his first appearance as an Outlaw scoring only 43 seconds into the game. The Cannons would fire back when Rob Emery #42, Midfield scored less than three minutes later. The Outlaws would be the next to score when Eric Law #15, Attack hit net giving him his 50th career goal as a second year player. Boston would come back and score two goals in less than a minute. Kevin Buchanan #27, Attack; and Paul Rabil #99, Midfield would both score. Rabil would be held to only one goal in the game. Law was the next to score; followed by John Grant, Jr. #24, Attack. The final two goals of the quarter would come from Boston’s Will Manny #1, Attack with the final goal of the quarter coming with only 26 seconds left on the clock. The first quarter would end with the score 5-4 Boston over Denver.
Jeremy Sieverts #20, Midfield would start out the second quarter with a bang. His first goal would come with only 46 seconds off the clock, which moved him into fifth place in Outlaws history for all-time points with 112, followed by his second of the game less than 3 minutes later. But the Cannons would dominate the remainder of the first half with goals from Owen Blye #20, Attack; Brent Adams #28, Midfield; and Scott Ratliff #2, Midfield. Score at the half, 7-8 with Boston still up.
Going into the third quarter, Sieverts would score at 2:03, giving him the hat-trick, and tying the game. But Boston came back less than a minute later, when Emery would get his second goal of the game. For the remainder of the third quarter, the score would teeter back and forth, with goals scored by Grant Jr.; Brodie Merrill #17, Defense; Greer (two goals); Blye; Law getting yet another hat-trick (his eighth of the season); and Stephen Berger #10, Midfield all scoring. The third quarter would end with Boston still up 12-11.
Emery would start out with back-to-back goals in the fourth, giving him a hat-trick. Law would get his fourth goal of the game; Manny would score also giving him a hat-trick; followed by Brent Adams #28, Midfield; Terry Kimener #16, Midfield; and the final goal of the game would come with an empty-netter by Cannons Berger giving him two on the night. Final score Boston 17-Denver 13.
It was anyone’s guess who would come out with the win. Between the two teams, there were a total of six of the top ten scoring leaders in the league. Here’s how they stacked up:
Cannons—Paul Rabil second in the league with 17 G, (one 2ptG), 1 PPG, 26 A, 14 GB, .215 SPCT
Outlaws—Eric Law fourth in the league with 29 G, 1 PPG, 12 A, 8 GB, .537 SPCT (tied for first with Casey Powell)
Cannons—Will Manny fifth in the league with 23 G, 15 A, 4 GB, .343 SPCT
Cannons-Kevin Buchanan sixth in the league with 27 G, 5 PPG, 7 A, 7 GB, .380 SPCT
Outlaws—Jeremy Sieverts ninth in the league with 19 G, 3 PPG, 6 2ptG (number one in the league), 6 GB, .311 SPCT
Cannons—Stephen Berger tenth in the league with 20 G, 4 PPG, 9 A, 3 GB, .400 SPCT
Outlaws—26 SOG, 18 SOFF, 23 GB, 11-32 FOW, 0-1 PPA
Cannons—26 SOG, 11 SOFF, 31 GB, 21-32 FOW, 1-1 PPA
Special Teams thru Week Ten
Outlaws—7 PPGF, 19 PPA, 36.84 PPPCT; Penalty Killing—9 PPGA, 29 TSH, 65.52 PKPCT
Cannons—13 PPGF, 35 PPA, 37.14 PPPCT; Penalty Killing—9 PPGA, 25 TSH, 64.00 PKPCT
Goalie Match-up thru Week Ten
Outlaws—Jesse Schwartzman (first place in the league) 9 games, 502:52 min, 7-1, 89 GA, 3 2ptG, 10.62 GAA, 130 saves, .594 save percentage
Cannons—Jordan Burke (second place in the league) 10 games, 599:52 min, 5-5, 116 GA, 4 2ptG, 11.61 GAA, 135 saves, .538 save percentage
The Outlaws and Cannons were evenly matched teams, with a huge amount of talent on both sides of the field. Denver seems to be having some problems on offense with all the new talent on the team. During my interview with Lee Zink #29, Defense after the game, I asked him what he thought went wrong. It boils down to the players playing as individuals and not as a team.
If Rochester wins tonight, their record will be the same as the Outlaws with the Outlaws holding a half-game lead based upon the point differential. If Denver wants to keep that number one spot, they need to figure a way to get their offense working together, and must tighten up the defense.
The Outlaws final home game is Sunday July 20, the day after the FIL World Championships wind down. They will face the Florida Launch (4-6) at Sports Authority Field. Their remaining games are on the road. If the Outlaws want home field advantage in the play-offs, they have to win those games. Home field advantage seems to be huge in the MLL, and Denver has the disadvantage of having to play on the road their final three games of the regular season.