After exploding for five goals two weeks ago, Dave Lawson had a quieter, but still effective afternoon this past week in the Rattlers 12-7 loss to the Bayhawks. Lawson had another multi-goal effort and did so on only three shots.
Meanwhile, John Ranagan has cooled off the last couple of games. While he has recorded a point in eight straight games this season, he has only managed six goals in the past five games. Compare that to the 10 goals he scored in three of his first four games and you wonder what the drop off could be attributed to. It seems as if teams are putting the long stick middie on Ranagan, which makes it harder for him to dodge and really limits his opportunities.
Despite losing to the Ohio Machine in a shocking loss that ended the team’s playoff run, the rookies did perform quite well. Will Manny and Cameron Flint had a hand in seven of the team’s 11 goals this past week. Manny had three goals and an assist while Flint had three assists on the afternoon.
Defenseman Scott Ratliff and the Cannon defense sure had their work cut out for him on the defensive end having to face Steele Stanwick and Logan Schuss this past week. Unfortunately, they weren’t up for the challenge and it hurt them as the Cannons will be watching the playoffs from home this year.
The Hounds may have one of, if not, the most impactful rookie class from this past draft. It is one of the main reasons why the team is currently in the playoffs after this past week’s victory over the Hamilton Nationals.
While Mike Sawyer was held scoreless on the afternoon, Jake Tripucka recorded his first hat trick of his young career this past week. Sawyer leads the team’s rookie class in points despite the scoreless afternoon with 18, while Tripucka bumps his point total up to eight after this week. Attackman Matt White has also been good for a point a game and has nine points on the season.
Meanwhile, on the defensive end, the Hounds have gotten great defensive midfield play out of John Haus, who despite not recording any points last week, has two multi-point efforts in his last four games. Also anchoring the defensive midfield is SSDM Josh Hawkins who is an athletic specimen and can run with anyone in the MLL. Rounding out the group is the ever dangerous Mason Poli, who at LSM, added another assist last week, and now leads all defensemen with 11 points on the season.
New York Lizards
While the Lizards have grown accustomed to the great play of Rob Pannell and the effectiveness of Steve Mock after their midseason trade with the Boston Cannons, the Lizards finally got production from Jo-Jo Morasco. Morasco was held to a measly one point in his first six games as he seemed o really struggle acclimating to the professional league. Well, this past week he broke out of his scoring slump and recorded his first career hat trick as the Lizards fell to the Outlaws in a tightly contested game.
Meanwhile, Pannell had two goals and an assist to raise his season point total to 36, and Steve Mock added another goal and has seven on the season.
Jesse Burnhardt continues to impress at the MLL level. This past week, his strong defensive effort in the Bayhawks 12-8 playoff-clinching win over the Rochester Rattlers earned him the Warrior Defensive Player of the Week award. While he only scooped up two groundballs, he helped the team force the Rattlers into many turnovers from which the Bayhawks were able to turn into instant offense.
In what had to be a great surprise across the MLL landscape, the Machine won another game, in large part because of their rookies. While Logan Schuss was dominant yet again for the Machine on his way to recording six points on the afternoon, Marcus Holman had four points, Jake Bernhardt had three goals and Chase Carraro even chipped in with a goal in the Machine’s win over the Cannons.
Schuss, who has been the lone bright spot for the Machine, has been on an absolute tear the past five games. During that time span he has scored four or more points in every game, including two six point efforts. For this past week’s effort Schuss was named the Cascade Rookie of the Week for the second time in three weeks. He now only trails Pannell with 33 points on the season and should garner heavy consideration for Rookie of the Year honors.
While the Nationals continue to get production out of faceoff man Mike Poppleton and defensemen Tucker Durkin and Jason Noble, the Nationals have gotten a spark from one of their other rookies the past couple of weeks in Garrett Thul.
Thul, who exploded for six points in last week’s win over the Boston Cannons, had a quiet day by recording one two point shot in the Nationals 13-8 loss to the Charlotte Hounds this past week. The Army graduate has only appeared in five games this season but is an immediate threat from the midfield. He has a cannon of a shot that has to be respected by all opposing defenses as evidenced by his three two point goals.
After being shutout for the first time in his short MLL career last week, Eric Law got back to showing up in the boxscore as he tallied two points in the Outlaws 13-10 win over the New York Lizards. Law had a goal and an assist and now has 27 points on the season.
Meanwhile, Brian Megill continues to contribute on the defensive end for the Outlaws. He added three groundballs last week and has 25 on the season.