MLL Weekend Preview: Week 10
Ohio Machine (5-2) at Boston Cannons (3-5)
Thursday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: Two weeks ago, the Machine pulled off an overtime win over the Cannons thanks to Mark Cockerton's winning goal. The Cannons made a furious comeback late in that game, scoring seven goals in the fourth to send it to OT. They come into tonight's home game riding high after knocking off the Outlaws last weekend. They'll have to cool off an Ohio team that has won each of its last three games.
Players to watch: Tom Schreiber is tied for the fourth-most assists in MLL (12) despite only playing in three games and his 5.67 points per game is the third-best mark in the league, according to Moneyball Lacrosse. He'll have to deal with Boston's rookie midfielder Sergio Perkovic, who scored a goal in his pro debut last week in Denver. Coach Sean Quirk told LSN this week, he was pleased with what he saw out of the second-overall pick in the Collegiate Draft.
New York Lizards (3-7) at Denver Outlaws (5-2)
Saturday, 5:00 PM on LSN
Storylines: Turns out the Outlaws are human, afterall. After winning each of their first four games and outscoring opponents 52-34 in that stretch, Denver has lost two of its last three games, including a 16-9 drubbing at the hands of the Cannons last week. The Outlaws are looking to improve their 1-2 home record against a New York club that just pulled off a dramatic win over Rochester, scoring in the final minute of regulation to seel the win.
Players to watch: Paul Rabil eclipsed 500 career points in last week's win and now stands 39 points shy of first place all-time (John Grant Jr., 541 points). He needs 27 goals to surpass 300 (273) and is 11 assists shy of 200 (189) for his career. He'll be facing one of the stingiest defences in the league, led by Jack Kelly in net. Kelly's 10.57 goals against average is the best in the league among goalies with five or more starts.
Chesapeake Bayhawks (3-4) at Ohio Machine (5-2)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on Twitter
Storylines: The Twitter Game of the Week will feature an Ohio team playing the middle game of a stretch that sees them play three times in eight days and playing for the second time since Thursday. They square off with a Bayhawks team that has been prone to slow starts recently, getting outscored 11-3 in the first quarter of their last two games combined.
Players to watch: Chesapeake is expected to activate attackman Lyle Thompson to an offense that already boasts Myles Jones (27 points) and Sean Evans, who has scored a hat trick in all three of his games this season. They'll try to crack an Ohio defense, led by Brian Karalunas and Matt McMahon, that is limiting opponents to 10.33 points per 45 possessions, the lowest mark in MLL according to Moneyball Lacrosse.
Florida Launch (5-3) at Charlotte Hounds (4-5)
Saturday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: Since the MLL Collegiate draft on May 28, the Launch are 3-0 and are averaging 15.67 goals per game. Prior to that, they were 2-3 while averaging 10.6 goals per game. They'll face Charlotte for the first time in 2017. The Hounds have won three of their last four games, thanks to an offense that has scored at least 15 goals in each of their last three games.
Players to watch: First-round pick Matt Rambo did not disappoint in his pro debut last week, picking up two assists in Charlotte's win against the Bayhawks. His teammate Ryan Brown has not slowed down the scoring pace all season, still leading the league in points with 33 (26 goals, 6 assists). For Florida, their resurgence has been led by the return of Kieran McArdle, who has racked up 20 points (15 goals, 5 assists) in just four games this season, tying him with Chazz Woodson for the most points on the team.
Atlanta Blaze (2-5) at Rochester Rattlers (4-4)
Saturday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: At 4-4, the Rattlers may have found the crossroads of their season. They fell to New York on a last-minute goal last week and will try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this year. The Blaze, meanwhile, are looking to snap a two-game losing streak that includes a 19-16 loss against the Launch last week.
Players to watch: Kevin Rice has proven a spark plug in the Atlanta offense. The All-Star attacker has 17 points in just three games for the Blaze and had two goals and three assists last time out against the Launch. On the Rochester side, Jordan Wolf has scored at least three goals in all but one of his games this season and is aveaging 5.4 points per game to this point. He's enjoyed a boost from rookie Zed Williams, who has contributed two goals in each of his first two games as a pro.