LEAPING LIZARDS! NATS COULD HELP DECIDE PLAYOFF RACE
8/8/12 10:20 AM
(August 7, 2012)… The Hamilton Nationals will close out the 2012 Major League Lacrosse season when they host the Long Island Lizards on Saturday, August 11th at 7:00 p.m. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.
Playoff Race: Hamilton could determine the MLL Playoff seeding for Championship Weekend, as three teams vie for the final two spots. If the Nationals defeat Long Island, and Rochester beats Charlotte, the Rattlers will secure a playoff berth. Long Island would then need a Boston loss to make the Playoffs.
Scouting the Nationals: Hamilton (3-10) enters the game in seventh place in the MLL. Last Saturday, the Nationals fell just short at Ron Joyce Stadium, dropping the home game 11-9 to Charlotte. Hamilton was powered by a five-assist night by Joe Walters and a three-goal performance from Stephen Keogh. In the first half, the Nationals had four single-season records fall, courtesy of Walters, Matt Dolente, Brodie Merrill and Brett Queener. Walters assisted on Cody Jamieson’s marker in the first to set a single-season assist record of 21, breaking his mark set in 2011. Dolente won 13 faceoffs to set a single-season faceoff wins record with 196. Merrill also set the team’s single-season record of 88 with 4:52 to play in the first half. Queener made 12 saves to set the single-season record, passing Scott Rodgers’ mark of 106 set last season.
Two Scoops: Merrill and Dolente are among the MLL Leaders in ground balls, ranking third and fourth respectively. Merrill has collected 92, while Dolente has scooped up 82 to go along with 206 faceoff wins (third best in the MLL).
Joe Closing in on Record: Walters is three points away from passing his career high of 44 set in 2008 with the Rochester Rattlers. He currently ranks fourth in the MLL with 42 points.
Rocky Mountain High: Walters has been added to the U.S. Men’s National Senior Team roster for the “Duel in Denver.” Team USA squad will face Team Canada on September 8th in a 7:00 p.m. (Mountain time) exhibition game at Dick’s Sporting Goods® Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Last Meeting: The Nationals dropped their only meeting of the season against the Lizards. On July 21st, Long Island defeated Hamilton in a 19-12 loss to eliminate the Nats from the MLL Playoff Race. Hamilton got four goals from David Earl, three goals from Stephen Keogh and three-point nights from Joe Resetarits (2+1) and Brodie Merrill (1+2).
Lizards Notes: Long Island (8-5) can lock up a playoff spot with a victory or a Rochester loss. The Lizards dropped their last game, 13-6, to the Chesapeake Bayhawks to end their three-game winning streak. In the last game against Hamilton, rookie Tommy Palasek notched career highs (six) in goals and points (seven), to go along with five-point efforts from Stephen Peyser (3+2+0) and Max Seibald (2+3), who leads the team with 36 points. Goalie Drew Adams is second in the MLL in saves (170), and fourth in goals-against average (11.51) and save percentage (.535). Faceoff man Greg Gurelian leads the league with 116 ground balls and is second with 216 faceoff wins.
The 2012 MLL Championship Weekend is set for Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th at Harvard Stadium in Boston, Mass. The Chesapeake Bayhawks and Denver Outlaws have already clinched playoff berths with the last two spots to be decided on the final weekend of the season. Tickets for MLL Championship Weekend are available at www.ticketmaster.com