First there was the undefeated New England Patriots, who made it all the way to the NFL Superbowl. Next were the Denver Outlaws, who went 14-0 and made it to the MLL Semi-Finals where they took on the Charlotte Hounds, who are in their second year of existence as an organization. What do the Patriots and Outlaws have in common? They both went to the playoffs, only to falter.
Geoff Snider and Timmy Fallon took on Anthony Kelly and Stephen Robarge at the face-off X. This was the big difference in the game. Snider went 17-25 with teammate Fallon recording 5-7, totaling 22-32 of the face-off wins. That’s to Kelly’s 4-14, Robarge’s 6-14 and Roy’s 0-2 attempts. Groundball’s favorited the Hounds as well, as they scooped up 48 to the Outlaws 31.
Rookies prevailed for the Hounds, with Jake Tripucka, Matt White, and Mike Sawyer all recorded goals. Tripucka had two beauties, both down the right alley. White went off for four points, recording a hat-trick and one assist. Mike Sawyer had a career game, putting up five points, including a two-point goal. Ryan Young had his moments, especially with Jesse Schwartzman a couple of times, picking up two goals and an assist. Matt Danowski felt right at home netting three points, with a two point goal.
Coach Cerino had this to say about his team, “Denver is a great team. We concentrated on being the best team on August 24th.”
Eric Law absolutely destroyed the Hounds defense by himself. The rookie scored nine goals, tying the record for points in a single game and breaking the points in a single game for the MLL playoffs. He had this to say about his rookie campaign, “I had a great season because of the great teammates around me and the style we play, everyone gets the accolades. I’m excited to come back next year; we will be hungry and use this as fuel for the whole offseason and come back and hopefully get it done Championship Weekend.”
Brendan Mundorf picked up three points himself. Chris Bocklet marked up three assists, along with Jeremy Sieverts goal and two assists. Brian Megill, Terry Kimener and Jesse Schwartzman each had an assist, with goals from Justin Pennington, also one assist, and Zack Greer.
Schwartzman and Adam Ghitelman both had intense games. Jesse made thirteen saves on 28 shots, letting up 15 goals, two of which were two-pointers. Ghitelman stood on his head, especially in the third quarter, where he made nine saves out of his 17 totaled. He faced 31 shots, letting up 14 and no two-point goals. Adam said, “I thought we just came in with a great game plan. Executed very well. We stuck together throughout the game. ”
Denver has been to the playoffs every year since their inauguration in 2006, but have never hoisted the Steinfeld Cup. That dream will have to wait another year for Coach Stagnitta and the Outlaws. Charlotte has earned their first ever birth to the MLL Championship Game for the first time in their two year existence. Their opponent is going to either be Chesapeake or Hamilton, both of which Matt Danowski said he would rather not see.
Coach Stagnitta commented, “We didn’t play well. Bad day not to play well. We started out tentative, we made every mistake you could possibly make, in the first half, everywhere from shot selection, to substitutions, to just basic fundamental mistakes and we dug ourselves a hole against a pretty powerful team.”
Game time is set for Sunday at 3 P.M. and fans can catch the game at PPL Park or on television on ESPN2.