6/26/14 10:30 PM
DENVER — Team USA beat Team MLL in a tightly contested 10-9 victory in the 2014 MLL All-Star Game Thursday night at Harvard Stadium in front of a crowd of 10,327 fans. Team USA took on Team MLL ahead of the 2014 FIL World Championships, which will be hosted in Denver this July. This is the third time the All-Star Game served as preparation for Team USA.
Denver sent four All-Stars to the game, which tied with Rochester and Charlotte for the most honors from any team this year. Attackman Eric Law and defenseman/long stick midfielder Michael Simon earned their first All-Star nods, while faceoff specialist Anthony Kelly saw action in his second straight All-Star game and midfielder Jeremy Sieverts made his third consecutive trip to the game.
Team USA also featured a number of Outlaws as goalie Jesse Schwartzman got the start in the crease, and defenseman Lee Zink and midfielder Drew Snider also donned the red, white and blue. The three Denver players that suited up for Team USA tonight have a combined 14 All-Star selections.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with each team trading goals to a 3-3 tie before Team USA took a 5-3 lead.
Jesse Schwartzman started in goal for Team USA, which played each of their three goalies for 20 minutes. Schwartzman finished the night with six saves on nine shots—a .667 save percentage, which was the best of the three Team USA goalies.
At halftime, Schwartzman and Sieverts represented their respective teams in the MLL All-Star Game Skills Competition. Schwartzman dropped his goalie stick and picked up a short stick for the accuracy contest, finishing tied for second place with one point. Sieverts registered a 110 mph shot in the fastest shot competition, which ranked second for MLL participants. A fan participant won the competition and set a new world record with his 116 mph shot.
The second half just as close as the first was, and saw five ties between Team USA and Team MLL. With both teams tied up at 8-8, Snider scored with 2:42 left in the game to give Team USA a 9-8 lead over Team MLL.
Team MLL tied it up again with a Joe Walters goal, but Rob Pannell sealed the deal for Team USA with a goal that put them up 10-9 with just under seven seconds left in the game. Anthony Kelly won the final faceoff to give Team MLL a fighting chance, but the clock ran out and Team USA left the field victorious.
Kelly finished the night 7-of-16 (.438), and was the only Team MLL FOGO to register a faceoff win against Team USA.
Final cuts for Team USA are expected to be made this weekend and the final roster is slated to be announced on Monday. There are 31 players currently on Team USA vying for one of the final 23 roster spots.
The Outlaws (7-1) return to action on the road this Sunday against the Rochester Rattlers (5-3) on Sunday, June 29, at 1 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.