DENVER – Last season Josh Sims and Joe Yevoli were out of professional lacrosse.
On Saturday, they combined for seven goals and nine total points to help the Outlaws to a 15-6 rout of the Hamilton Nationals in Denver's stormy home opener at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Sims scored five goals and one assist for the Outlaws, winning the Bud Light Player of the Game award in his first MLL action since 2010.
Yevoli scored his first goal of the night during a man-up advantage with an assist from Terry Kimener, shortly after Kimener scored a goal of his own goal making the score 3-0. Yevoli played his first game since the 2008 season last week at Charlotte.
The Nationals answered with two back-to-back goals in the first quarter by Jeff Zywicki and Tom Compitello.
Denver continued to build its lead in the second quarter by outscoring the Nationals by seven points. Jeremy Sieverts, who is tied for the league lead with seven goals, netted a two-pointer during a three-minute power play, to keep the Outlaws ahead. Sieverts added three additional goals throughout the game. His seven total points rank third in the league through two weeks of play.
The third quarter started with a goal from Sims, and Hoff and Justin Pennington added markers to give the Outlaws a 14-2 lead entering the fourth frame. The Outlaws ended up shutting out the Nationals in back-to-back quarters, marking the first time that has happened in franchise history.
Ryan Hoff scored his fourth goal of the season with an assist from Yevoli, for the Outlaws’ fourth power-play goal of the game, which tied a franchise record set in last season’s opener vs. Hamilton. The other third-quarter goal was scored by Pennington, who was acquired via trade earlier this week from the Long Island Lizards.
The Nationals ended the Outlaws’ 10-0 run with a goal during a fourth-quarter power play; they went on to score three more goals.
In the midst of a hail storm Yevoli scored his second goal of the night to keep the Outlaws up by 10. The final score was 15-6, and with the win the Outlaws are now tied for first place in the league with the Boston Cannons.
The Outlaws return to Denver on Saturday, May 12 against the Long Island Lizards at 7 p.m. MDT at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Tickets are available online or over the phone at 303-OUTLAWS.
NOTES: Goalie Jesse Schwartzman led all MLL goalies that played more than 30 minutes in Week 2 with a .706 save percentage (12 saves, 17 shots on goal)... Terry Kimener finished with three assists, which represent a career high... Denver's four power-play goals tie a team record set in the 2011 season opener vs. Hamilton... Goalie Ben Brown played the final 2:32 and registered his first career save... Jeremy Sieverts picked up his second hat trick of the season and is tied for the league lead with seven goals on the year and ranks third in points with 11... Denver shut out an opponent in consecutive quarters for the first time in franchise history as Hamilton failed to score in the second or third quarters... Hamilton and Denver were each missing starters due to the ongoing NLL playoffs... Hamilton also missed its head coach, who was coaching the Syracuse women's team.