Saturday, June 22, 2013

Denver Maintains Two-Game Lead Atop MLL Standings with 19-5 Win Against Ohio

By: Lopa Rahman

On their annual Heroes' Night, the Outlaws wore camouflage jerseys, which will be auctioned off on  eBay.  All proceeds will support Colorado Wildfire Relief. 

In a record-breaking defensive performance, the Denver Outlaws defeated the Ohio Machine 19-5. The Outlaws set a team record for goals allowed, and their 14-goal margin of victory is tied for the highest in franchise history.

“We did terrific defensively the whole game, right from the start,” Denver Head Coach Jim Stagnitta said. “We controlled their main weapons. I thought the defense as a whole played great….[also] the fact that we were able to transition so quickly from defense to offense made a huge difference.”

The Outlaws’ Lee Zink shut down Steele Stanwick, the Machine’s leading scorer. Denver (8-0) held Ohio (1-7) scoreless for 13:41 in the second period and for the entirety of the third quarter.

“[Zink] played unbelievable on [Stanwick],” the Outlaws’ Eric Law said. “[Stanwick] is a great player, and Zink totally handled him really well.”

Ohio’s faceoff men struggled mightily against Denver’s Anthony Kelly, combining to win just 5-of-27 draws. Kelly’s 19-of-27 outing at the faceoff X ranks fourth in team history.  

“Anthony got us possessions early and got us opportunities to get up on the scoreboard and relax and start to play in our comfort zone….that consistency at the X gave us the ball for the majority of the game,” Stagnitta said.

Chris Bocklet, who paced Denver’s offense with six tallies, became the first Outlaw to record three six-goal games in a single season. With 26 scores on the year, he is tied for the MLL lead with the Hamilton Nationals’ Kevin Crowley. Law and Drew Snider each completed a hat trick.

Denver jumped out to a fast start, notching four tallies within the first 3:17 of play. Ohio’s Logan Schuss got the Machine on the scoreboard with a powerplay goal, but the Outlaws responded with a powerplay score of their own to close out the first quarter with a 5-1 lead.

Joe Cummings got the second period started on a high note for the Machine with a tally just 15 seconds in before Ohio surrendered seven consecutive goals to Denver’s high-powered offense. Bocklet led the onslaught with three markers, and Law and Jeremy Sieverts added two apiece. Joe Resetarits put the Outlaws’ run to an end with 1:04 remaining in the opening half.

“We were getting some fast-break opportunities [in the second quarter] because our defense was playing so well, and we were able to capitalize on them and run away with the game,” Law said.

In the Machine’s scoreless third period, Denver netted three goals, including a two-pointer by Justin Turri. Backup goalie Charlie Cipirano took over for Jesse Schwartzman in the final period and gave up two tallies in the first 6:08, but Snider and Bocklet tacked on goals to ice the Outlaws’ 19-5 victory.

With the win, Denver maintains its two-game lead atop the league standings. The Outlaws will remain at home next weekend against the Charlotte Hounds, who beat the Chesapeake Bayhawks—the defending national champions—16-15 in overtime earlier today.

“We’ve just got to focus on getting better and be ready to play, and be ready to play for four quarters,” Bocklet said. “There are a lot of games where we haven’t had to play for that fourth quarter, and I’m expecting a battle throughout all four quarters.” 

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