MERRILL GOES FOR RECORD, AS NATS HOST BAYHAWKS
5/15/12 12:00 AM
(May 15, 2012)… The Hamilton Nationals make their home debut on Friday, May 18th with an 11:00 a.m. contest against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. The Nationals will host over 1,700 kids from the Pen Pal Program at the game. The game will air locally on Sunday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. on Cable 14. For ticket information, contact the Nationals Ticket Office at (905) 768-2225.
New Ground Ball King: Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill can become the MLL’s all-time ground ball leader Friday. He ranks second on the league’s all-time ground ball chart with (532), trailing only Paul Cantabene (538). He enters his fourth season with the Nationals and his eighth in the MLL. Last year Merrill was named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Year and an All-MLL Team selection for the sixth season.
Scouting the Nationals: The Hamilton Nationals dropped an 18-9 decision to the Boston Cannons at Harvard Stadium on May 12th. The Nats fell to 0-2 with their second straight road loss. The contest was a rematch of the 2011 MLL Finals, which was won by the Cannons, 10-9. Hamilton was led by four points from Kevin Crowley (3+1) and two goals from Jeremy Thompson. Both players recently joined the Nationals from their NLL teams. Rhys Duch scored his first pro goal. Gerry Reilly (assist) and Adam Jones (goal) earned their first pro points in their pro debuts. Stoney Creek, Ontario, native and Robert Morris product Kiel Matisz also made his professional debut. Goalies Scott Rodgers and Brett Queener split time in goal and each made seven saves. Merrill scored one goal and added one assist to move into a tie with John Grant Jr. for fourth on the Nationals’ all-time point list with 49.
Two more players join the Nats: The Nationals activated two more players this week with the addition of Garrett Billings and David Earl. Billings helped the Toronto Rock reach the East Division Finals, while setting the NLL record for single-season assists with 82. He finished with the third highest point total in league history with 114. Earl completed his rookie season in the NLL, as a member of the Minnesota Swarm, who reached the West Division Finals. Earl played in 13 games and recorded six points and 42 loose balls in his rookie season. In related moves, the Nationals released Tom Compitello and Dan Deckelbaum.
Still indoors: Hamilton Nationals players still playing in the National Lacrosse League Playoffs: Joe Walters, Cody Jamieson, Jarrett Davis and Stephen Keogh of the Rochester Knighthawks will host Kyle Rubisch and Corey Small of the Edmonton Rush in the 2012 NLL Finals Saturday night in Rochester, NY.
Chesapeake Notes: The Bayhawks lost for the first time this season, falling to the Rochester Rattlers 12-8 on May 12th. Chesapeake is in third place in the MLL. The Bayhawks activated attackman John Grant, Jr. and long-stick midfielder John Orsen, who made his debut Saturday. Drew Westervelt has five points (4+1) in two games since joining the Bayhawks from the Philadelphia Wings. Chesapeake has three of the Top 10 point producers in Kyle Dixon (15), Steven Brooks (10) and Ben Hunt (9). Dixon is fourth in points and leads the MLL with five two-point goals. Ben Rubeor owns the team’s longest consecutive point streak at 19 games. Joey Kemp is second in the MLL with a 7.00 goals-against average and a .708 save percentage.
Next Game: On Saturday, June 2nd, the Nationals will travel to play the expansion Charlotte Hounds at 7:00 p.m. It will be the first meeting ever between the two teams.
Next Home Game: Hamilton will return home on Saturday, June 9th to host the Rochester Rattlers at 7:30 p.m. at McMaster University.