6/15/10 4:42 PM
Denver Outlaws Week 6 Preview
By Heather Crowley
Playing in Harvard Stadium has not been kind to the Denver Outlaws (3-2) as the game Saturday became déjà vu as they fell again to Boston Cannons (3-2) on the road with a final score of 17-12.
On a positive for the Outlaws Matt Brown continued to stay hot as he netted four goals on the day. Brown has scored nine goals in his past two games. For Denver, the game also represented an introduction for two of its newest draftees Ken Clausen and Sean DeLaney. Both Sean DeLaney and Ken Clausen made their rookie debuts for Denver against Boston.
“The young guys came on, the rookies, and hit the ground running,” Seibald said. “They did a bunch of positive things and they were holding it down.”
As the two newcomers took the field for the first time of the MLL careers, both made their presence felt as DeLaney grabbed two ground balls while Clausen got a shot off goal. Boston on the road may not have been the easiest scenario for a first game, as those two games are both the team’s losses, but these rookies will need to grow up fast for their next challenge: The Bayhawks.
“I thought they both played well,” Denver head coach Brian Reese said. “You could tell they were a little hesitant at first, but once they got going, they were fine. DeLaney didn’t get too many runs and that is my fault. I need to get them both in the game more so they can get comfortable.”
The Outlaws road trip does not get any easier as they next face the best team in the league, the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Bayhawks are arguably the most complete team in the league and the matchup will shakeup the standings with either outcome. This will be the first meeting between the two teams as the Outlaws look to knock the Bayhawks out of the top spot.
“They have the best record in the league and we will have our work cut out for us,” Reese said. “They have the highest scoring offense in the league and great talent there so our defense will have to be sharp.” Peet Poillion leads the league in points with 24 and has the ability to either score his own goals or create for his teammates
Despite the stingy defense and high scoring offense of the Bayhawks, the biggest test for the Outlaws will be the man between the pipes. The Outlaws need to be sharp when the face goalie Chris Garrity who has the league leading GAA of 11.30 and came off a stellar game against Toronto. While facing the Nationals, Garrity made 18 saves and allowed just 9 goals. The Defensive Player for Week 5 has also made 85 saves on the season and currently has a .620 save percentage, both good for the best in the league.
Coach Reese said that Jesse Schawartzman will return to goal for the Outlaws after Adam Fullerton took over goaltending responsibilities against Boston and for half the game against Long Island. So far the Outlaws are 1-2 on the season while on the road.
The Outlaws currently sit in second place and look to return to the playoffs. Denver has made the Championship game three out of its four seasons and has never missed the playoffs. With the post season set for August 22 in Annapolis, MD the team looks poised to make another run. The Bayhawks should offer a good litmus test for the Outlaws.
Another key element for the Outlaws will be taking advantage of their opportunities on the power play. In their first two games the Outlaws struggled on the power play, going just 1-for-9. In its past three games the Denver attack has picked up significantly and improved to 8-for-11. If there is a weakness in Chesapeake’s game it is their 66% penalty kill rate. If Denver can get and take advantage of the power play it give the Outlaws a chance against Chesapeake.
The matchup figures to be the most intense of Week 6 and impact how the rest of the season plays out. The critical matchup for the Outlaws means back to .500 or a share for the lead. The Outlaws will take on the Bayhawks at 7 pm eastern and can been seen on ESPN3.com Also, follow our live game blog and chat at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com beginning at 6:45 ET.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com