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MLL: Semi-Finals Previews and Game Day Information

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
via MLL press release  
Author’s Note:  Today is MLL’s version of Memorial Day Weekend Saturday.  I know that many of you would think ‘Olympics’ if you are going to watch some sports on TV today.  I’ve been watching more than my share the first week but frankly I’m ready for a one-day break from it and what better way to get away from it than today’s doubleheader on CBS Sports Network, starting at 4:00 today.  Those who casually follow the sport might not have noted the incredible run for the playoffs this year, as 7 of the 9 teams were eligible to make the playoffs going into the following weekend. ALL 7 teams FINISHED with an 8-6 record, making the tie-breaker permutations akin to a Rubik’s Cube effort.  And the margin was so absurd . . . how many now remember that Rochester was basically eliminated from the playoffs by Brodie Merrill’s Hail Mary miracle?  Without that the Rattlers are the #1 seed. In other words, if you are a lacrosse fan, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to not watch the two games today.  And there might be a nice long-term benefit to doing so.  A big TV audience showing in the ratings, DURING the Olympics, might well be a data point down the line when the IOC decides future sports for inclusion in the Olympics.  There are now over 45 countries that participate in the lacrosse world events.  We are getting closer to a reality that lacrosse can become an Olympic sport. Let’s send a message today.  
It’s finally here- MLL Playoffs. If the next two weeks are anything like the regular season, then strap yourselves in because we’re in for a wild ride. For the first time, the MLL Semi-Finals will be held at two neutral venues. If you’re unable to travel to Fairfield, CT or Blaine, MN, there’s nothing to worry about because you can still watch the games live on CBS Sports Network. (1) Ohio Machine vs. (4) Charlotte Hounds Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016 Time: 5:30 p.m. CT / 6:30 p.m. ET Location: National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, MN  Broadcast:  CBS Sports Network Twitter: @MachineMLL, @CharlotteMLL, #CLTvsOHIO The Machine and Hounds are entering the playoffs on a high note with both teams coming off Week 15 victories. Ohio dropped 22 points (again) on the New York Lizards in a must-win game behind the record-breaking 10 goals from John Grant Jr. Charlotte used balanced scoring to secure a comeback victory against the Chesapeake Bayhawks in their own must-win game. The Hounds and Machine will face off for the second time this season in the Semi-Final game in Minnesota. Their first matchup, June 9th, ended with a 16-9 victory in favor of the Machine. Scott Rodgers posted a season-high 19 saves en route to be named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game. With an offensive sans John Grant Jr., Marcus Holman led the way with six points (5g, 1a) while Tom Schreiber and Peter Baum each tallied three goals and one assist. On the offensive side for the Hounds, Joey Sankey and Mike Chanenchuk led scorers with two goals each. Hounds rookies Dylan Donahue and Ryan Brown each scored a goal, but this was only their second professional game, and it’s safe to say Charlotte fans will expect more production from the two this weekend. Unfortunately, Charlotte’s defense will be without Ryan Flanagan who suffered a season-ending injury during the July 23rd game against the Outlaws. Ohio is looking to prove themselves after losing in the Semi-Finals in back-to-back years while Charlotte is hoping to make a return to the MLL Championship Game, a place they haven’t been since 2013. Game Preview for Ohio Machine vs. Charlotte Hounds (Via Chris Rosenthall and Inside Lacrosse)  5 Things to Look For in the Matchup (Via Joe Keegan and Lacrosse Magazine)  ———-   (2) New York Lizards vs. (3) Denver Outlaws Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016 Time: 4:00 p.m. ET Location:  Rafferty Stadium at Fairfield University Broadcast: CBS Sports Network Twitter: @LizardsLacrosse, @DenverOutlaws, #DENvsNYL New York and Denver enter the playoffs in very different situations. New York has dropped its last two games, including a 14-13 overtime loss to Boston and a 22-13 loss to Ohio. Denver is coming into the playoffs with six consecutive wins and fresh legs off a bye week. These two teams are very familiar with each other and have already split wins this season. In early June, Denver traveled to New York and lost, 21-18. Denver redeemed themselves at home with a Friday afternoon game in July to beat the visiting Lizards, 20-16. Denver’s roster will look a little different this time around without John Grant Jr but the emergence of Matt Kavanagh and  Bailey Tills will continue to add depth to Denver’s offense. New York is packing its own offensive threats with Rob Pannell who broke the scoring record with 74 points and Paul Rabil who tied the previous scoring record, that he set, with 72 points. On the defensive side, it will be the 2016 Rookie of the Year, Denver goalie Jack Kelly, going up against the 2015 Goalie of the Year, Drew Adams. This game will feature the Lizards playing to make it back to the Championship Game to defend their title and the Outlaws playing for a chance at a Steinfeld Trophy, which they won in 2014. Game Preview for New York Lizards vs. Denver Outlaws (Via Kyle Devitte and Inside Lacrosse)  5 Things to Look For in the Matchup (Via Joe Keegan and Lacrosse Magazine)