The Hounds last week clinched the first postseason berth of their two-year history with a thrilling 14-11 victory over the Hamilton Nationals at home. The game’s first quarter was a high-scoring affair for both sides. The Nationals used two early 2-point goals from Kevin Crowley and Garrett Thul to propel themselves to a 5-1 advantage. But three goals from Danowski, including a 2-pointer, got the Hounds right back in it, and Jake Tripucka tied the game at 7 in the waning seconds of the first quarter. The game remained in a deadlock, 9-9, after two quarters. But the Hounds pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Nationals 3-1 in the third and 2-1 in the fourth to secure the victory. Ghitelman had 13 saves on the night, 10 of which came in the second half.
Players to watch: Kevin Drew (M) – May not always show up on the stat sheet, but certainly makes big plays for his team. Geoff Snider (M/FO) – In his first MLL game of the season, the veteran went 8-17 at the X.
The Bayhawks last Saturday night also clinched a playoff berth with a 12-8 victory over the Rochester Rattlers in Annapolis. It was the fourth time this season that the Bayhawks have held an opponent to single digits. The Bayhawks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and extended their advantage to 7-3 at the half behind two goals from Matt Mackrides. The Rattlers outscored the Bayhawks 4-3 in the third quarter thanks to a 2-point goal from Ned Crotty, but the early deficit proved too much to overcome. Drew Westervelt added two second-half goals to propel the Bayhawks to the win. The team saw eight different players score goals during the game and only one tally was an unassisted effort. An area of concern however, would be Adam Rand going 10-23 at the X.
Players to watch: Drew Westervelt (A) – He leads the Hawks with 42 points, including nine in the last two games. Matt Abbott (M) – Probably the best all-around, and most underrated, midfielder in the MLL.
TICKET TO RIDE: The Hounds last week punched their ticket to MLL Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink in Philadelphia with a 14-11 victory over the Nationals. The Hounds currently are the No. 4 seed, but a win over the Bayhawks this weekend would move them in to the No. 3 slot.
MILESTONE MOMENTS: Matt Danowski tallied a new career high for goals in a game, scoring six – including one 2-pointer – against the Nationals on Saturday. The attackman already has 32 goals on the season, also a new personal best….Rookie Jake Tripucka on the same night recorded his first MLL hat trick….The Hounds are above .500 for the first time in club history. With a record of 7-6 they now rest at .538 on the season.
PLAYMAKER: MLL named Danowski the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week for his sevenpoint performance against the Nationals in Week 13 action. He also earned the honor following the Hounds’ Week 8 victory over the Bayhawks.
GOING STREAKING: Ryan Young currently is riding a 15-game streak of recording at least one point, dating back to Aug. 11, 2012 (including the postseason)….The Hounds have strung together a three-game win streak, the longest in the team’s two-year history.
TOP DOG: Rookie Mason Poli continues to pace all MLL defenders in points, having recorded 11 in nine games. Just behind him is the Nationals’ Brodie Merrill at 10 points. Poli also is tied with the Machine’s Kyle Hartzell for most goals by a defender, as each have tallied six this season.
DUAL THREATS: The Hounds continue to lead the league in 2-point goals, having scored 14 thus far. The Bayhawks are next in line with 11. Danowski and Peet Poillon have scored five 2- point goals each, tied for most in the league with the Outlaws’ Jeremy Sieverts and Rattlers’ Matt Streibel….Danowski has climbed to the No. 4 spot on the list of all-time MLL leaders in 2- point goals, having tallied 25 so far over the course of his career.
HE’S GOT THE POWER: The Bayhawks’ Drew Westervelt ranks atop the league with eight power-play goals so far this season.
FLAGS WILL FLY: The Hounds’ Joe Cinosky and the Bayhawks’ Brian Spallina currently lead all MLL players with 14.5 penalty minutes each.
FINAL COUNTDOWN: Poillon is two tallies away from hitting the 100-goal milestone. He also is four points shy of reaching 150 on his career….Young is four goals away from hitting the 50- goal milestone in his career….Danowski needs seven more points to reach 250 on his career.