PLAYOFF BERTH COMES DOWN TO FINAL DAY OF THE SEASON
8/9/11 12:00 AM
Game Notes: The Hamilton Nationals end the regular season with a 7:00 p.m. road contest against the Long Island Lizards on Saturday, August 13th. The game will determine the winner of the fourth and final playoff spot for the MLL Championship Weekend.
Playoff Picture: Boston (8-3), Denver (6-5) and Chesapeake have all clinched playoff berths. Hamilton clinches a playoff berth with either a win or a loss by fewer than six goals and a Chesapeake win. Long Island clinches a playoff berth with either a win and a Chesapeake loss or a win by seven or more goals.
Head-to-Head: Hamilton is 3-3 lifetime against Long Island, which includes a 15-9 win back on July 1st. The Nationals’ Kevin Crowley completed his first pro hat trick as part of a career-high six point night (4+2). He led a balanced attack that included goals from eight different players. Hamilton also made Long Island pay on the power play, using a team record-tying three man-up goals.
Hamilton Notes: The Hamilton Nationals missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot Saturday night, losing 13-8 to the first-place Boston Cannons at Ron Joyce Stadium. The loss dropped the Nats into a three-way tie for second place with a 6-5 record. The Nationals battled back the entire game and finally tied the contest at eight only to have the Cannons’ explode for five straight goals in the fourth. Hamilton got four points (2+2) from Casey Powell in his 2011 debut. Joe Walters scored one goal to move him into fifth in the MLL with 36 points (16+1+19).
Road Warriors: Hamilton has the second best road record at 4-1. The Nationals are riding a franchise-record four-game road winning streak dating back to June 10th.
Brodie closing in on No. 1: Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill (518) is second in league history in ground balls, trailing only Paul Cantabene (538). This season, Merrill leads the MLL with 71 ground balls.
A ‘Bolt’ of offense: Boltus leads the Nationals with a seven-game goal-scoring streak and an 11-game point streak. He leads all MLL rookies with 28 points (19+9) and is one goal away from moving into the MLL Top 10 all-time in rookie single-season tallies. He trails Mike Springer (Bridgeport - 2003) and Conor Gill (Boston - 2003). Kevin Huntley has the record with 30 (LA - 2008).
Casey closes in on milestones: Powell is one goal away from becoming only the seventh player in MLL history to reach 200 goals. The league’s all-time point leader (392) is also eight away from becoming the first player in MLL history to reach 400 points.
Lizards Notes: Long Island dropped a 14-11 decision to the Denver Outlaws last Saturday to fall into fifth place in the MLL. Matt Danowski led the Lizards with a three-goal effort. He is now tied for third in the MLL with 37 points (22+6+9). John Grant Jr. recorded one goal and one assist to give him 14 points (8+6) in six games since getting dealt to Long Island from Hamilton. Former Nat Adam Rand won 14 of 28 faceoffs. Goalie Drew Adams made 15 saves and is third in the league with an 11.54 goals-against average.
Championship Weekend: The 2011 Sports Authority Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend is set for Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th. The semifinals are Saturday at noon and 3:00 p.m. while the MLL Championship Game will be played Sunday at 3:00 p.m. All three games will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.