The Hamilton Nationals may have sputtered through the first seven games of the season, going 2-5 and sitting sixth in the standings of the eight-team league. Â The lone-Canadian team still netted six All-Stars though, three for the Young Guns team and three for the Old School team.
That ties Hamilton with Boston for second-most selections in the league and the balance of youth and experience shows the variety of talent on the roster, one that could still make one last playoff push before the season ends.
Matt Dolente (face-off, Young Guns): Two-time MLL All-Star face-off guy Geoff Snider has yet to suit up for the Nationals this season but the second-year Dolente has filled in admirably. Last season Dolente played five games, took 139 face-offs and had a 46.8 face-off winning percentage.
This year heâ€™s played seven games, taken 191 face-offs and has a 59.2-face-off winning percentage, good for third in the league. He also has scored three goals and added two assists.
David Earl (midfield, Young Guns): The second-year pro is a model of consistency, scoring in four of his five games this season. He has a total of eight goals to go with four assists. His assist tally matches his entire total from last season.
Earl played very well his rookie season, scoring 17 goals in 10 games. He also scored two goals in the playoffs..
Stephen Keogh (attack, Young Guns): Keogh may have missed the first three games of the season but heâ€™s more than making up for it. In his first game of the 2012 season Keogh scored four goals, which he would go on to do one more time before the All-Star break.
Keogh has 13 goals and four assists this season. He has scored at least two goals in each game this year and is averaging 4.25 points per game.
Casey Powell (midfield, Old School): This marks the sixth MLL All-Star selection for Powell. Heâ€™s one of the most decorated players in league history. Heâ€™s the leagueâ€™s all-time leading scorer, has won two MLL championships and was selected to the MLL Tenth Anniversary Team. His veteran leadership helped the Nationals reach the championship game last season.
This season Powell has four goals and two assists in three games. The All-Star game will be his first since returning from a one-game suspension for his slash-to-the-head to Bayhawks defender and Young Guns All-Star Michael Evans. It was the first suspension of Powellâ€™s career.
Brett Queener (goalie, Old School): Not only will the outspoken goalie be competing in his third All-Star game, he will return to the Freestyle contest portion of the halftime skills challenge, where in 2009 he moon-walked in tribute of Michael Jackson after the King of Popâ€™s death.
Heâ€™ll have something fun up his sleeve but he earned the nod because of his play in net this year. Queener usually splits game time with goalie Scott Rodgers, but with the Notre Dame-alumnus a bit banged up Queener has increased his minutes in goal and played all 60 minutes the final game before the All-Star game. He has registered a 2-3 record this season, is sixth in goals against average and has posted double-digits in saves his past four games, including a 21-save effort against the Hounds in the Nationals first win of the season.
Joe Walters (midfield, Old School): Walters will head to the MLL All-Star game for the fifth time in his career. In four games this season Walters has 10 goals and 10 assists. In his 2012 debut Walters earned MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors, scoring four goals and tallying four assists to lead the Nationals to a one-goal win over the Hounds for their first victory of the season.
In his last game before the All-Star game, Walters scored three goalsâ€”including one two-pointerâ€”and had three assists to have a hand in seven of the teamâ€™s 10 goals that night. He became the first player to reach 100 points as a National.