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MLL News and Notes: June 15

June 15, 2011

Players of the Week

Offensive Player of the Week
Ben Hunt, Chesapeake Bayhawks

Hunt scored a career-high five goals, including a two-point goal, and added three assists as the Bayhawks handed the Denver Outlaws their first loss of the season with a 16-15 overtime decision at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Saturday night. Honored as the Bud Light Player of the Game, Hunt also scored the game-winning goal just 1:07 into overtime. Hunt, who had scored just one goal in his first three games this season, is the Bayhawks’ third-leading scorer this season with 10 points.

Defensive Player of the Week
Jordan Burke, Boston Cannons

Burke posted a career-high 24 saves and allowed just seven goals as the Cannons earned their second straight win, a 19-8 victory over Long Island. Named as the Bud Light Player of the Game, Burke made nine of his saves in the second quarter as the Cannons held Long Island scoreless for nearly 21 minutes. Burke’s 24 saves are the most by any goalkeeper in the MLL this season. Burke, who was making his second straight start, leads the MLL with a 9.53 goals against average and a .651 save percentage.

Cascade Rookie of the Week
Jeremy Thompson, Hamilton Nationals

Making his MLL debut, Thompson scored two goals to help the Nationals earn their first victory of the season, a 14-13 win over the Rochester Rattlers on Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium. He scored his first career goal just 51 seconds into the second quarter to give Hamilton a 4-3 lead before adding a goal in the third quarter, which gave the Nationals a 9-7 cushion. The sixth overall pick in the 2011 MLL Collegiate Draft, Thompson helped Syracuse University reach the NCAA quarter-finals as a senior.

MLL News and Notes

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Thursday’s night game between the Chesapeake Bayhawks and the Long Island Lizards will mark the first of six MLL games this season to air on ESPN2. In addition to all three games during The Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior, the 2011 Sports Authority MLL All-Star Game and the Bayhawks’ July 2 game against Rochester will air on ESPN2. Joe Beninati and Quint Kessenich are on the call for Thursday’s game.  

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: The Hamilton Nationals traded attackman John Grant, Jr. and midfielder Adam Rand to the Long Island Lizards on Tuesday afternoon in exchange for a second round pick in this year’s MLL Collegiate Draft. Grant scored four goals with four assists in three games with the Nationals this year while Rand played in one game.   

IT HAD TO END SOMETIME: With a 16-15 overtime loss against the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday night, the Denver Outlaws became the last team in the MLL to suffer a loss this season. The Outlaws, who are one of three teams with a 3-1 record, opened the year with three straight victories. Boston and Chesapeake also have a 3-1 record entering this week’s games.  

WORKING OVERTIME: Saturday’s game between the Outlaws and the Bayhawks also marked the first overtime game this season in the MLL. It was the first overtime game since August 7 last year when the Bayhawks earned an identical 16-15 victory over Boston at Harvard Stadium. There were four overtime games in the MLL last year.    

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Through the first 11 games this season, the team that scores the game’s first goal has an 8-3 record. In all three games last week, the team that scored first went on to win the game.  

ON THE HUNT: After posting just one goal in the Bayhawks’ first three games, midfielder Ben Hunt exploded for a career-high nine points in Chesapeake’s overtime victory over Denver on Saturday night. He scored five goals, including a two-point goal, and added three assists as the Bayhawks rallied to earn their third win of the season. Hunt, who ranks third on the Bayhawks with 10 points, also scored the game-winning goal just over a minute into overtime to earn the victory. He was named as the MLL Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.  

FIT TO BE TIED: Entering Week 5 of the MLL season, four players have jumped to the top of the scoring charts with 15 points. Boston Cannons midfielders Brad Ross and Paul Rabil have each tallied eight goals and 15 points while Denver’s Brendan Mundorf and Chesapeake’s Danny Glading have each scored 10 goals with 15 points. Of the top seven point scorers in the MLL, four of them play for the Cannons.

NOTHING GETS BY BURKE: In addition to leading the MLL in scoring offense through the first four weeks of the 2011 season, the Boston Cannons can also boast the league’s top goalkeeper as Jordan Burke leads the league in goals against average and save percentage. After making a career-high 24 saves and allowing just seven goals, the former Brown University standout has a 9.53 goals against average while stopping 65.1 per cent of the shots he has faced. Burke was named as the MLL Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in last week’s 19-8 victory over Long Island.  

30 SOMETHING: Through the first four weeks of the season, the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Denver Outlaws have been the most accurate shooting teams in the MLL. Denver leads the MLL with a .318 shooting percentage while Chesapeake has converted on 30.0 per cent of its shots.

FACE IT: Long Island Lizards midfielder Peter Vlahakis became the all-time leader in face-off wins after winning 9 of 27 attempts in the Lizards’ 19-8 loss against Boston on Saturday night. Vlahakis, who now has 1,023 career face-off wins, passed Paul Cantabene. Cantabene, who won 1,015 of 1,861 face-off attempts in his career, also ranks as the league’s all-time leader with 538 ground balls. Vlahakis, a graduate of Fairfield University, is in his eighth season of MLL service, including his sixth with the Lizards.