Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Game Preview: Denver Outlaws vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks

The Denver Outlaws (8-4) look to bounce back against the Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-8) on Thursday after dropping a high-scoring overtime game against the Ohio Machine on Saturday, 23-22.

Despite the loss, the Outlaws clinched a playoff berth for the 2014 MLL Playoffs. Denver has made the playoffs for the ninth time in as many years as a franchise and is the only MLL franchise to secure a playoff berth in each year of existence.

The Bayhawks sit tied for last place in the league’s standings, whereas the Outlaws sit a game back of first place. Denver will be playing to try and clinch homefield advantage for the playoffs. The Outlaws will need to win at Chesapeake and for the New York Lizards to lose this weekend in order to lock up homefield advantage.

Despite the Bayhawks record, Denver head coach B.J. O’Hara isn’t looking past this game.

“I think Chesapeake showed on Sunday against New York that they’re not going to roll over for anybody,” O’Hara said. “They played an awfully inspired game, particularly the way they came back to win that one at the end. We’ve got to expect them to be at their best and obviously we’re going to have to match that. We have a lot on the line… We’ve got to worry about the game we’re playing on any particular evening. We can’t worry about the outcome and what’s at stake. We’ve just got to play the best we can that night.’”

The Bayhawks are coming off a one-point victory over the Lizards.

The Outlaws are 10-4 against the Bayhawks’ franchise all time and beat them at home earlier this year, 9-6.

Chesapeake’s attack is led by Brendan Mundorf and Drew Westervelt, who have 17 and 16 goals, respectively. The Bayhawks also feature Joe Walters who is tied for fifth in the league in assists with 19 on the year.

On the defensive side, Chesapeake has given up the second fewest goals in the league this season. Goalie Kip Turner’s 11.65 goals against average per game and his .552 save percentage both rank second in the MLL amongst goalies with significant minutes.


“I don’t think that we want to get into a shoving match with their close defense,” O’Hara said. “I’m sure that our attackmen will wear some extra pads this week. But I don’t think that necessarily changes our approach on how we attack. We’re still going to go after the midfield and try to get things moving.” 


Infographic July 26th



HEAD COACH B.J. O’HARA WEEKLY CONFERENCE CALL QUOTES

On the team’s overtime loss to the Ohio Machine on Saturday
“Well, I’m glad that we entertained everybody (laughs). No it was a live, open, very, very exciting game right to the last shot. It was a game of runs. We got out early and were playing awfully well on both ends of the field and then we had the weather delay and had to go in for a while and came back out and they got on their run so it was back and forth for the whole game. A couple of times I thought we had them put away and to their credit they came back. We had a chance to win the game in the last 15 seconds of regulation, had a one-on-one and hit the goalie in the head. Then we had a chance to win it in overtime, we got a good shot off and hit the goalie in the foot. Then they came down and they stuffed their shot. So it was obviously a very offensive transition kind of game. They were just a little bit better at the end than we were.”

On facing the Chesapeake Bayhawks tomorrow night who are out of playoff contention
“Well, I think Chesapeake showed on Sunday against New York that they’re not going to roll over for anybody. They played an awfully inspired game, particularly the way they came back to win that one at the end. We’ve got to expect them to be at their best and obviously we’re going to have to match that. We have a lot on the line. We’re excited that we’re in the playoffs and I told the guys, ‘We’ve beaten every team in this league at least once, and that’s why we’re in the playoffs. We didn’t back in or anything like that. We earned it. We’ve got to worry about the game we’re playing on any particular evening. We can’t worry about the outcome and what’s at stake. We’ve just got to play the best we can that night.’”

On faceoff specialist Anthony Kelly being placed on the I/R for the final two regular-season games
“He’s optimistic to get back for the playoffs. We have him on two-game I/R so there is hope we will have him back. But we’ve got to deal with that for tomorrow night and for the last game. Anthony is going to be with us, he will be in the locker room and on the sidelines. He will be bringing his leadership and his experience and he will certainly help mentor [rookie FOGO] Brent Hiken during the course of the game. So we’re going to lose obviously his presence on the field but he’s going to be with us and we’re going to need him.”

On if they’re exploring options of bringing up a backup faceoff specialist
“We’re looking at all kinds of options. Certainly that would be one, but we’re looking at others as well.”

On goalie Jesse Schwartzman
“I think the first thing that we try to make all of our guys realize is it’s a team game. It doesn’t rise and fall on any one individual. Sometimes we lose sight of that and put an awful lot of pressure on the goalie position. Obviously it’s important but there are a lot of things that have to happen before the other team gets a shot even. Those areas need to be addressed too. On Saturday they were shooting lights out, we were shooting lights out. We took Jesse out for a little while just to give him a little break and to see how he felt and if he wanted to go back in. We brought Charlie in to see maybe if he could light a spark. When you get a game like that where it’s up-and-down and the shooters, they smell blood. They start hitting them from everywhere and they have a little extra zip on their shots. I think that the case at both ends of the field last week. So I don’t think it really mattered a whole lot who we had in goal. It was going to come down to the end—the team that had it last was probably going to be the team that was going to win it. Jesse, he’s got a lot of pride, obviously has got a lot of talent and a lot of experience. He’s going to do whatever he can to help us get to our ultimate goal and we’re confident that he’s going to be fine.”

On facing Chesapeake’s defense
“We initiate in the midfield primarily and try to get the defense rotating and I think we did a good job against Ohio doing that. We had some awfully great possessions and awfully great goals that were created off of ball movement. I don’t think that we want to get into a shoving match with their close defense. I’m sure that our attackmen will wear some extra pads this week. But I don’t think that necessarily changes our approach on how we attack. We’re still going to go after the midfield and try to get things moving. We don’t want to start backing in against [defenseman Michael] Evans or [Nicky] Polanco or [Brian] Spallina—they’re pretty rugged, experience guys. We’ll try to create it a little bit differently.”

On the play of defenseman Lee Zink

“One of the things about Lee Zink is that a lot of times you don’t notice him because the guy that he covers doesn’t want to go against him so he just gives the ball up. That gets frustrating for Lee. He’s got that kind of reputation and I think not too many attackmen want to take him on. As a result he does tend to be a little invisible sometimes. He’s obviously a coach on the field. He’s good on the ball, off the ball. I know he’s very, very dedicated to trying to get us to our ultimate goal and he’ll do whatever he can to help get us there.”


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Denver Outlaws Week 13 Game Notes


The Denver Outlaws’ Week 13 game notes are now available for download from the team website or by clicking the image below. The weekly release includes game information, statistical charts, notes of interest, team rosters, player/coach biographies and boxscores leading up to Denver’s Week 13 matchup against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31, 2014. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.


Additionally, this week is MLL’s first ever Burn Cancer Week in support of the HEADstrong Foundation to raise awareness for all forms of blood cancers. More information on what players, coaches, and the MLL will be doing as part of Burn Cancer Week is available by clicking here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Outlaws Clinch 2014 MLL Playoff Berth, Await Seeding

DENVER – Despite Denver’s overtime loss against the Ohio Machine (6-6) this weekend, the Outlaws (8-4) clinched a berth in the 2014 MLL Playoffs. The Outlaws have made the playoffs for the ninth time in as many years as a franchise. Denver is the only MLL franchise to secure a playoff berth in each year of existence.

"Some people have the perception is that making the playoffs isn’t difficult because the Outlaws have accomplished it every single year, but the truth is that each year it is a terrific achievement,” said Denver Outlaws General Manager Tony Seaman. “Every team in the MLL is loaded with the very best players in the world, and being one of the top four teams in the league is outstanding.”

“Congratulations to every Outlaws player that has been a part of the 2014 team and especially to Head Coach B.J. O'Hara,” added Seaman. “The long-range goal is to win the Championship, but that is impossible to accomplish without first getting into the playoffs."

Seeding has yet to be determined for the playoffs, but this year the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will host playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.

The only scenario in which the Outlaws could lock up homefield advantage for the playoffs after this weekend’s games is if they beat the Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-8) Thursday and the New York Lizards lose this weekend.

Denver has a road game early this week Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. EST against Chesapeake. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. The New York Lizards are also on the road, and will play the Charlotte Hounds (4-8) Friday night at 7 p.m. EST.

Denver hosted Chesapeake earlier this season on June 21, and won 9-6 behind a balanced offensive performance with a rare Michael Simon two-point goal late in the game, and impressive play by the Outlaws’ defense. Denver’s defense allowed the second-fewest goals (6), points (8), and faceoff wins (6) in franchise history. Goalie Jesse Schwartzman was at his finest, with 28 saves—second-most in team history—and an .824 (28-34) save percentage.

MLL Playoff Berths by Franchise
Franchise
Postseason Berths
Years as Franchise
Pct.
Denver (2006-14)
9
9
1.000
Boston (2001-13)*
10
13
0.769
Chesapeake (2001-14)
9
14
0.643
New York (2001-14)
8
14
0.571
Rochester (2001-08, 11-14)
6
12
0.500
Charlotte (2012-14)
1
3
0.333
Ohio (2012-13)*
0
2
0.000
Florida (2014)*^



*possibility of 2014 playoff berth still undetermined
^first year as a franchise

OUTLAWS PLAYOFF RESULTS BY SEED
Seed
No.
Year(s)
W
L
1
5
‘06, '08, '09, '12, '13
4
4
2
2
‘10, '11
0
2
3
0
-
0
0
4
1
‘07
0
1


Statement from General Manager Tony Seaman on the Denver Outlaws Playoff Berth

"Some people have the perception is that making the playoffs isn't difficult because the Outlaws have accomplished it every single year, but the truth is that each year it is a terrific achievement. Every team in the MLL is loaded with the very best players in the world, and being one of the top four teams in the league is outstanding.

"Congratulations to every Outlaws player that has been a part of the 2014 team and especially to Head Coach B.J. O'Hara. Congratulations also go out to every member of the Outlaws organization who are all very much a part of the team's success. The long-range goal is to win the Championship, but that is impossible to accomplish without first getting into the playoffs.Well done by all."

- General Manager Tony Seaman


Jeremy Sieverts Behind the Net Goal 7/26

video

Sunday, July 27, 2014

OUTLAWS CLINCH MLL PLAYOFF SPOT DESPITE OVERTIME LOSS TO MACHINE

DENVER – The Outlaws scored a season-high 22 goals but fell to the Ohio Machine 22-23 in overtime Saturday night on the road. Despite the loss, the Outlaws clinched a playoff spot due to the Boston Cannon’s losing to the Florida Launch.

The Outlaws started strong behind two quick goals from Chris Bocklet and one from Jeremy Sieverts, building a 3-0 lead before the game was temporarily suspended due to weather. Ohio came out of the delay firing on all cylinders, and both teams were tied 4-4 after one quarter of play.

Bocklet’s first-quarter power-play goal was his 11th career power-play goal, and moved him into sole possession of third place in team history.

The second half saw hat tricks from John Grant Jr. and Justin Pennington, propelling Denver to a 12-9 halftime lead. Grant Jr. finished the night with eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) and is now tied for second place in MLL history for most career points (445).

The scoring continued in the third quarter, with five Denver goals and seven Ohio goals. Pennington recorded his fifth of the night, and C. Bocklet notched his fourth. The Outlaws led 17-16 after three quarters of play.

Four different Outlaws scored in the fourth quarter, and Denver had a 22-21 lead near the end of regulation, but Ohio’s Marcus Holman snuck one in with just over two minutes left in the game to tie it up at 22-22 and force overtime.

Ohio’s Kyle Harrison scored his fourth goal of the evening 1:45 into overtime to secure the win for the Machine.

The Outlaws have made the playoffs for the ninth time in as many years as a franchise. Seeding has yet to be determined, but the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will host playoff games on Aug. 16, 2014.

Denver is on the road this Thursday, July 31 against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The game will be on CBS Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Game Notes:
·        The Outlaws clinched a playoff berth for the ninth time in as many years as a franchise.
OUTLAWS PLAYOFF RESULTS BY SEED
Seed
No.
Year(s)
W
L
1
5
‘06, '08, '09, '12, '13
4
4
2
2
‘10, '11
0
2
3
0
-
0
0
4
1
‘07
0
1

·        Chris Bocklet’s five points (4 goals, 1 assist) moved up to seventh place in team history for most career points
MOST CAREER POINTS, OUTLAWS HISTORY
Rank
Players
Points
1
Brendan Mundorf
347
2
Brian Langtry
186
3
Drew Westervelt
176
4
Matt Brown
160
5
Jeremy Sieverts*
127
6
Jeff Sonke
111
7
Chris Bocklet*
96
8
Josh Sims
95
9
Terry Kimener*
85
10
Peet Poillon
65
*active players

·        Bocklet’s first-quarter power-play goal was his 11th career power-play goal, and moved him into sole possession of third place in team history.
·        John Grant Jr. has scored a goal in each of the 10 games he’s played this season. He finished the game with 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points, and had a hat trick in the second quarter alone.
·        With Grant Jr.’s eight-point performance, he is now tied for second place in MLL history for most career points (445).
Career Points,  MLL History
Rank
Player
Points
1
Casey Powell*
458
2
John Grant Jr.*
445

Ryan Boyle*
445