The Ohio Machine vs. Denver Outlaws
Wednesday, July 4th, 9:00 p.m. MT.
Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO.
Fans can watch the action live on CBS Sports Network at 9pm ET.
The Ohio Machine (1-6)
Denver Outlaws (5-3)
The Ohio Machine will travel to Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado, to face the Denver Outlaws on July 4th in the annual MLL Fourth of July game. This is the final matchup between the Machine and the Outlaws of the season.
Last Time Out
The Machine suffered its closest and toughest loss of the season when it fell to the Charlotte Hounds at home 17-16. The Machine fell behind early but tied it up at five in the second quarter. The Hounds scored three straight goals to close out the half but the Machine rallied in the third quarter. A two-point goal from defenseman Ray Megill and goals from Connor Martin, Jim Connolly and Kyle Hartzell gave Ohio a 10-9 lead. Charlotte took a commanding 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter but a second two-point goal from Hartzell and another goal from Connolly brought the Machine within one with 30 seconds to go. The Machine could not finish its comeback and suffered its sixth loss on the season. Machine rookie attackman Steele Stanwick led the team with one goal and four assists.
Last Time vs. Denver (6/9)
The Denver Outlaws scored five straight goals to begin the game and the Machine could not recover, losing to Denver 16-8 despite outscoring Denver 6-1 in the final quarter. Attackman Chazz Woodson had four points (2G 2A) for Ohio and midfielder Anthony Kelly led the team with 10 faceoff wins.
Ray Megill is two groundballs away from his 100th career groundball. Megill currently has 26 on the season and is five away from his career high. During this season, Megill has tied his career high in faceoff wins with seven and set a career high for points in a season with six.
Over his seven-year career Chazz Woodson has faced the Denver Outlaws nine times. In those nine games, Woodson has never failed to record a point. Throughout his career, Woodson has 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points against the Outlaws. More than one fifth of Woodson's career points have come from games against Denver.
Kyle Hartzell continued his historic season against the Charlotte Hounds when he scored two more two-point goals. Hartzell now has six two-point goals on the season, which is more than any other defenseman in league history. Hartzell is now one goal from tying the Boston Cannons’ Kyle Sweeney for most ever goals by a defenseman in a season and is also only six points away from tying the Hamilton National’s Brodie Merril for most points by a defenseman in a season.
Rookie midfielder Kiel Matisz scored two goals in his Ohio Machine debut last week, including his first career power play goal. Matisz, who has played for the Machine and Hamilton Nationals this season, has now played in four games this year and is the only rookie this season to have scored a goal with two different teams.
Reigning Power Play Kings- Last week the Machine was two for two on extra man opportunities to regain its spot as the top power-play offense in the league. The Machine has 11 power play goals on 23 opportunities for a percentage of 47.83. The team in second place, the Rochester Rattlers, has only capitalized on 37.50 percent of their extra man opportunities.
Excellent At The X
- Over the last three games the Ohio Machine have a face-off percentage of .602. That ranks them third in the league over that span, only trailing Boston and Hamilton. Over that three game stretch, Eric O’Brien was 32-53 from face-off and Kelly was 20-34.
- The Ohio Machine have had four different defensemen register a point this season. Only the Long Island Lizards have had more defensemen net a point for them this year. Kyle Hartzell leads all Machine defensemen with a total of 14 points on eight goals, including six two-point goals, and two assists. Ray Megill has scored four goals this season, while Greg Bice and Max Schmidt have each tallied an assist.
Playing in Denver
– “Everyone talks about the difficulty of breathing in the altitude but you end up cramping quickly and you have to hydrate and drink water a week beforehand. On the field, the big thing is finishing on offense and on defense. We have to lend more support to the guy who has the ball. In this league if you make a mistake defensively they are going to score.”
Rookies – “Steele came in right away and didn’t miss a beat as far as his strengths go and that’s what we were hoping for when we drafted him. Eilers has shown that he is a pretty solid player who will get better. They all bring certain strengths and have all been understanding of the team process, which is great.”
Rest of the Season – “I expect us to get better. We have a good base in place. You have to stay consistent with your coaches and your players. It’s not a fire sale every year and the players feed off of that. We will get better we are not that far away. Once we get all the pieces of the puzzle in place we are going to be pretty tough based on our experience and talent of our older guys and talent of the younger guys.”
The Denver Outlaws began the season 3-0 but have lost three out of their last five games to fall to 5-3 on the year. The Outlaw’s most recent loss came last week against the Long Island Lizards. The Outlaws led the Lizards 8-6 in the third quarter but the Lizards closed out the game on an 8-0 run to win 14-8. The Outlaws have six players who have double digit goals. Attackman Brendan Mundorf is tied for second in the league in points and leads the team with 17 goals and 14 assists. Goalie Jesse Schwartzman has played in all but 13 minutes of action for Denver. Schwartzman is second in the league in saves with 97 and third in the league in goals against average at 11.05. The team has had a revolving door at the face-off position featuring six different people who have taken face-offs this season. Faceoff specialist Chris Mattes leads the Outlaws with 50 face-off wins.
The Ohio Machine will travel to Hamilton in the first game of a back-to-back series on July 13. The next day on July 14 the two teams will travel to Columbus to finish the series on RadioU Night, featuring a free post-game concert by American rock band Abandon. A week later the team welcomes in the Chesapeake Bayhawks, who the Machine has not seen since its 2012 inaugural season opening game on May 5. The Bayhawks are currently at the top of the standings with a 7-1 record.