MLL: Outlaws take over top spot with win over Bayhawks

Ryan Lee scores one of his five goals against the Chesapeake Bayhawks on July 22, 2020. (Photo credit: MLL/Pretty Instant)

The Denver Outlaws walked away the winner in a match against the Chesapeake Bayhawks that was decided in overtime as two previously unbeaten teams took to the field on a rainy night in Annapolis. The Outlaws remain the only undefeated team in the MLL with just two days of regular season play left.

Brian Kormondy fired a bullet with 6:41 left to give Denver the 13-12 victory in a game that was as competitive as last year’s championship. This time, however, Denver ended up getting the best of Chesapeake.

The first quarter was pretty even, with Chesapeake leading 4-3 after the first. Andrew Kew scored a pair to lead the Bayhawks in the opening quarter. Ryan Lee scored twice to start the second to put Denver up 5-4, but a 2-point goal from Luke Anderson put Chesapeake back on top. Lee’s hat trick goal tied the game at six as the teams went into halftime to regroup.

Chesapeake came out stronger in the third, scoring four to Denver’s two. Lyle Thompson found the back of the net for the first time, while Lee scored goals four and five. Chesapeake led 10-8.

Daniel Bucaro scored his first of two on the night for Denver to open the fourth, marking the first game of the season in which he hasn’t scored at least a hat trick. Lyle Thompson put in a pair for a 12-9 Chesapeake lead, but Mikie Schlosser and Chris Aslanian then scored a pair 36 seconds apart to pull Denver back within a goal. Bucaro tied the game with 7:20 left to play.

Denver outshot Chesapeake 54 to 36 (29 to 19 on goal) and scooped 44 ground balls to Chesapeake’s 33.

Max Adler, who spent some time recovering from heat issues earlier in the week for Denver, was on point this game. He dominated at the X, winning 22 of 25, to kept his team in the game. Lee led offensively with his five goals, while Aslanian scored twice and assisted twice.

Lyle Thompson scored a sensational hat trick for Chesapeake, though he also led the team with three turnovers—something fans are unaccustomed to seeing from him. Andrew Kew contributed two goals. Despite their best efforts, the Bayhawks could not get enough man power from their other offensive players to get the victory.

Brian Phipps made 16 saves for Chesapeake. Denver continued switching goalies midway through the game, a strategy that’s been working all week. Nick Washuta had five saves, while Christian Knight had two.

Chesapeake and Denver both have the day off tomorrow. Chesapeake will face Connecticut on Friday at 4 p.m. while Denver will face Boston at 7 p.m. The top four teams will advance so each win is critical.