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Championship Weekend News and Notes

August 24, 2011
2011 Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend
August 27-28, 2011 | Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium | Annapolis, Md.
TV: ESPN2 (Live) | Internet: | Live Stats:

SETTING THE SCENE: This weekend marks the third straight year that the MLL Championship Weekend has been held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium … It is the first time in Major League Lacrosse history that a site has served as the host venue for the postseason in three consecutive years … Boston’s Nickerson Field hosted the MLL playoffs in 2004 and 2005 … In addition, Annapolis becomes the second city to host MLL Championship Weekend three times … In addition to hosting in 2004 and 2005, Boston also served as the host city when the MLL Championship Weekend was held at Harvard Stadium.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: All three of this weekend’s games will be televised live on ESPN2 and will also be available online on … Joe Beninati and Quint Kessenich will handle the play-by-play and color analyst duties, respectively.  

BACK TO THE DANCE: For the ninth time in 11 years, the Boston Cannons  qualified for MLL Championship Weekend by posting a 9-3 regular season record … The nine playoff appearances are a league record … Meanwhile, the Chesapeake Bayhawks will be competing for the MLL title for the seventh time in their 11-year history … The Denver Outlaws are making their sixth play-off appearance this year.

SIX PACK: The Denver Outlaws have tied a Major League Lacrosse record by earning a postseason berth in six consecutive years … The Boston Cannons set the league record by reaching the playoffs in each of their first six seasons … In addition, it marks the third time a team has qualified for the playoffs in five or more straight seasons.

VIEW FROM THE TOP: For the second straight season, the Boston Cannons clinched the top seed for the MLL Championship Weekend … It also marks the third time in the franchise’s 11-year history that the Cannons have won the MLL regular season title … However, the playoffs have not been too kind to the Cannons … In nine previous postseason games, the Cannons have a 1-8 record and have lost their last five playoff affairs … Overall, the top seed has a 15-4 (.789) record in the play-offs and has advanced to the MLL Championship Game in 9 of the first 10 years … The only time when the top seed has not advanced past the semi-finals was last year when the Cannons lost to Chesapeake.

IT ONLY TAKES ONE: The Chesapeake Bayhawks became the first team to win the MLL title as the fourth seed when they upset Boston and Long Island en route to their third MLL title … Prior to last year, the fourth seed had never won a postseason game in MLL Championship Weekend.

SO WE MEET AGAIN: The Boston Cannons and the Chesapeake Bayhawks will be meeting in the semi-finals for the second straight year … It will also be the third time the teams have played against each other in the postseason … Each team has won once against the other team.

CONNECT FOUR: The Chesapeake Bayhawks will attempt to become the first team in MLL history to win four league crowns when they compete this weekend … The defending MLL champions, Chesapeake has won league titles in 2002, 2005 and 2010 … The only other team to win three MLL championships is the Philadelphia Barrage, which claimed the trophy in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

BACK-TO-BACK: In addition, the Chesapeake Bayhawks will attempt to become the second team in Major League Lacrosse history to win back-to-back championships … In 2006 and 2007, the Philadelphia Barrage won the MLL title.

SAVING GRACE: Boston Cannons goalkeeper Jordan Burke led the MLL with a .615 save percentage this season, which marked the third-highest single-season total in league history … Burke, who ranked second in the MLL with a 10.60 goals against average, also ranked second in the league with 166 saves in 11 games … He made a career-high 24 saves twice this season … Burke had 24 saves in a win over Long Island on June 11 before posting 24 saves against Hamilton on August 6.

GOAL ORIENTED: Over the last four years, Boston Cannons attackman Matt Poskay has led the MLL in goals … After tying for the league lead this season with 30 goals, the former University of Virginia attackman has tallied a league-high 124 goals since the start of the 2008 season … He was honored as the 2010 Warrior Offensive Player of the Year and Bud Light MLL Season MVP after scoring a league-high 45 goals.

ECK MARKS THE SPOT: Boston Cannons midfielder Chris Eck led the MLL with a .595 face-off win percentage this season, winning 156 of 262 attempts … In fact, it was the fifth-highest single-season face-off win percentage in Major League Lacrosse history … The league record for the best single-season face-off win percentage is .633, which was set by Baltimore Bayhawks midfielder Paul Cantabene in 2004.

TWO STEP: After scoring four two-point goals during the regular season, Chesapeake Bayhawks midfielder Kyle Dixon ranks second in Major League Lacrosse history with 32 career two-point goals … Former Philadelphia Barrage midfielder Roy Colsey holds the all-time record with 33 two-point goals … In 2010, Dixon tied an MLL single-season record by scoring 11 two-point goals.

CLOUD 9: Over the last three years, Chesapeake Bayhawks attackman Danny Glading has increased his offensive output … The Bayhawks’ leading scorer this year, he scored 23 goals with 15 assists after a 15-goal, 11-assist performance last year … In 2009, he was limited to just four goals with 15 assists .

FACE IT: In just five seasons, Chesapeake Bayhawks midfielder Alex Smith has become one of the top face-off specialists in Major League Lacrosse history … After winning 177 of 323 face-off attempts this season for the Bayhawks, the former University of Delaware standout has moved into second place on the MLL’s all-time face-off wins list … He has won 58.8 per cent of his career draws.

SIXTH SENSE: For the sixth straight season, Hamilton Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill was honored as the Warrior MLL Defensive Player of the Year … Since joining the league in 2005, Merrill has earned a league award in each of his seven seasons … He also earned the 2005 Cascade MLL Rookie of the Year after leading the Baltimore Bayhawks to the league title … Merrill led the MLL this season with 77 ground balls in 12 games this year.

MISTER RODGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD: A key reason for the success of the Hamilton Nationals this season has been the play of goalkeeper Scott Rodgers … The second-year netminder from Notre Dame ranked third in the MLL with an 11.46 goals against average … In addition, he ranked fourth in the MLL with a .558 save percentage … After stopping just 49.5 per cent of the shots he faced in the first four games, Rodgers played very well in his last five games by posting a .619 save percentage … Rodgers had a career-high 20 saves against Boston on July 23.

INSTANT IMPACT: The 10-member draft class for the Hamilton Nationals has been very influential in the team’s success this season … Led by Cascade MLL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Boltus, the Nationals’ rookies accounted for 64 of the team’s 151 goals this year (.424) … Boltus led all MLL rookies with 19 goals and 11 assists this year … Meanwhile, midfielder David Earl contributed 17 goals, including a two-point marker, with four assists.

STONE WALL: Led by goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman, the Denver Outlaws set a Major League Lacrosse single-season record by allowing just 123 goals in 12 games this year … The Outlaws shattered the previous record of 136 goals, which was set by the Philadelphia Barrage in 2006 … In addition, Schwartzman set the MLL single-season record for the lowest goals against average, allowing just 9.87 goals per game.

MAKING A POINT: Since entering the MLL in 2006, Denver Outlaws attackman Brendan Mundorf has been the league’s top goal scorer … After tying with Boston Cannons attackman Matt Poskay for the league lead with 30 goals this year, the former UMBC standout has scored a league-high 174 goals over the last six seasons … In addition, he is tied with Long Island Lizards attackman John Grant, Jr. for the most points scored during the last six years … Mundorf and Grant have each recorded 247 points since the start of the 2006 season.

OH, CANADA!: Denver Outlaws attackman Brendan Mundorf has enjoyed a great deal of success against the Hamilton Nationals over the last three years … In two games this year, the former UMBC standout scored 10 goals with 8 assists, including a six-goal, four-assist effort in the season opener on May 14 … Mundorf also had four goals with four assists against the Nationals on June 18 … In seven career games against Hamilton, he has scored 23 goals with 18 assists.