NATIONALS HOST ROCHESTER TONIGHT
6/9/12 12:00 AM
(June 9, 2012)… For only the second time this season, the Hamilton Nationals will play a game at McMaster University, as they open the season with five of its first seven games on the road. Tonight, the Nationals host the Rochester Rattlers tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Hamilton enters the contest after earning a hard-fought 18-17 victory over the Charlotte Hounds on June 2nd. It was the first win of the season for the Nats (1-3). Hamilton won the game with a 3-0 run, which was powered by two goals from Casey Powell. Joe Walters scored four goals and assisted on four others in his first game of the season, en route to MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors. Those eight points tied a single-game team record. Walter's last goal also moved him into first place on the team's all-time goal-scoring list.
Walters and Stephen Keogh were both back after playing for the 2012 NLL Champion Rochester Knighthawks. Keogh also had an impressive debut, scoring a career-high four goals. Garrett Billings chipped in four points (2+2) and Matt Dolente set a single-game team record with 23 faceoff wins. He is fifth in the MLL with 21 ground balls. In goal, the Nationals were backstopped by a 21-save effort from Brett Queener. Defensemen Matt Lovejoy (Virginia) and Chad Wiedmaier (Princeton) made their MLL debuts in Charlotte.
Rochester (2-2) reached the .500 mark with a 17-16 overtime victory over the previously undefeated Boston Cannons last Friday night. Rattlers rookie Roy Lang scored the game-winning goal at 3:03 of overtime. Rattlers leading scorer Ned Crotty led the team with three goals and two assists, while Matt Striebel chipped in three goals, including one two-pointer, and one assist. Crotty leads the team with 11 points (7+4) in three games.
The NLL Champion’s Cup will make its McMaster University debut tonight, as the game features four members of the World Champion Rochester Knighthawks. Cody Jamieson, Walters and Keogh are members of the Nationals, while Joel White plays for the Rattlers. The quartet of Knighthawks defeated the Edmonton Rush 9-6 on May 19th.
Jamieson will make his 2012 MLL debut for the Nationals after a three-week layoff. Previously, he led the Knighthawks with four goals and four assists to earn Championship Game MVP honors. Jamieson was a Second Team All-Pro this season after leading Rochester in goals (36), assists (49) and points (85). With Jamieson back, Hamilton finally has the last piece of its offense back from the 2011 team that reached the MLL Finals.
“We have a little momentum now,” said Nationals Head Coach Regy Thorpe after the team’s first win. “We got most of our players back and we are looking forward to a better game this week.”