The break is here and this weekend you can tune in to watch two Powell Pathfinders compete in their first ever MLL All-Star Game. After three wildly successful seasons in the league, Denver’s Mike Bocklet finally got his first nomination to the ASG. He’ll be joined by Boston defenseman Brandon Mullins, rewarded in his sophomore season with the honor. The event moved north from Orange County in 2016, to Sacramento’s Papa Murphy’s Park. Tune in on Saturday at 7 p.m. to CBS Sports Network and witness the best in the game putting their skills on the display. It’s better than the NBA All-star Game, we promise.
Reaping the Rewards
No matter how you spin it, the Lizards got the best of the Cannons in last week’s dealings. Sure, Boston got the week off, but Dave Lawson and Chris LaPierre are not going to make the impact Will Manny and Joe LoCascio made immediately for New York. No matter what they do, it’s not going to be as incredible as this:
Manny score the first goal of the game, wasting no time to get acclimated. By halftime, the pair combined for three goals, helping the Lizards claim a one goal lead at the break. They would lose the lead in the third, despite Manny reaching a hat trick in the first 55 seconds. LoCascio would help Rob Pannell find twine, before Manny could sink another.
Then came the fourth quarter and the duo stepped up to further prove their value. Pannell returned the favor and LoCascio connected on his second, but two more goals from the Machine would extend their lead to three. Kevin Unterstein would quickly start the rally before Manny could circle back around for his fifth goal of the game. Still down one, LoCascio strapped up his backpack and launched a rocket from behind the arc, pinning the 2-pointer past Bernlohr with less than a minute left. Game, set, Lizards.
They got a combined 10 points out of the trade and considering the other two only combined for 11 points all season (all Lawson), it’s safe to say New York are making out like bandits here. Amongst a roster of guys that can put the ball into the back of the net, it’s unfathomable that Will Manny could walk right in and bury 5 goals in his debut. It’s not like the Machine weren’t more than familiar with the shifty attackman. He’s just that valuable right now, and Boston let their biggest asset go. But if you want to talk about clutch, look at LoCascio! A two-pointer to knock off the top team in the MLL, on top of two other goals and a helper, makes a strong argument for the bigger impact.
Beatdown After Beatdown
Only one game was close this week. The comeback thriller from the Lizards over the Machine was the only game worth watching from beginning to end. Unless you really love one-side butt kickings. Then we recommend checking out the replays this week.
On Saturday, Atlanta made things absolutely disgusting against Florida, in the best way possible. Parity was by the wayside after first quarter, where it was actually 4-3, the Blaze just slightly ahead. Then it became an absolute massacre and we will just reserve some language in regards to what the entire Florida team looked like. The Blaze struck seven continuous times before a lone Launch point fell in final 45 minutes. In the fourth quarter, Kevin Rice tacked a whole hat trick on top of his first two goal, Mark Matthews finalized his trio of goals, and Matt Mackrides landed his second-ever 2-pointer on an empty net to hammer in the final nail.
It’s almost as equally impressive that they held the firepower of Kieran McArdle, Connor Buczek, and Dylan Molloy to goose eggs across the board. So, you would think, for a team that dismantles another 17 to freaking 4, would be hot and ready to go three days later for the most viewed regular season game of the year. Spoiler: they weren’t. Well, like the other, the game was competitive early, Pathfinder Chris Bocklet registering the first tally of the game against his former team just a minute in. Not to be upstaged by little brother, fellow Pathfinder Mike Bocklet erased Chris’ effort by punching in his first goal just 15 seconds later. A handful of goals would come out of Jeremy Noble and guys were picking them up here and there for the Blaze, but on the other end, the Outlaws were hosting a clinic.
Insert fireworks cliche for Mike Bocklet. The man was unstoppable and proving why he’s deserved to be in the All-Star Game since his rookie year, despite just getting his first nod. The elder Bocklet buried 6 of his 10 shots on goal and hooked his team up with a couple as well. Eleven other Outlaws would also find their name lights, including a couple defensive middies, two long poles, and even the goalie. Jack Kelly caught Ghitelman sleeping in the worst way right at the end of the third quarter, sinking a full field bomb to push his squad up, 17-9. A crowd of over 25k roll in by the end of the game to check out the epic firework display. It’s a bummer that all of these potential lacrosse fans witnessed such a lopsided affair. The one good thing, every fan had a strong chance of seeing their favorite player score at least once amongst the 24 shots that found their way in.
The only game we haven’t discussed, Chesapeake drowning Rochester, almost isn’t even worth it. Things were going so well for the Rattlers. They were ahead, 5-2, after 15 minutes with goals from all of their best offensive power. The Hawks responded with a goal per minute spree in the second that would steal away the lead, against Jordan MacIntosh’s hat trick against Niko Amato. But, by halftime, Matt Abbott and Lyle Thompson had each already racked up a hat trick and they weren’t done yet. The Rattlers would even tie up the game in the third quarter before the cat stopped batting around the mouse. From there, 9 straight were charged to the Rattlers, and when the dust settled, Lyle and Abbott were combined for 13 points, with Jake Frocarro and Josh Byrne with 5 points on their heels. That offense is in great shape and aren’t forced to play all of their cards at once. The defensive unit figured out how to tighten down the ship and they would only make their goalie see three shots on target in the entire second half. Talk about carrying the weight.
● Machine 14, Lizards 13 – 7 pm Shuart Stadium
● Launch 4, Blaze 17 – 7 pm, Fifth Third Bank Stadium
● Rattlers 9, Bayhawks 19 – 7 pm, Navy-Marine Memorial Stadium
● Blaze 12, Outlaws 24 – 10 pm, Sports Authority Field
Upcoming Games (Next Week)
Thursday, July 13th
● Blaze @ Lizards – 7 pm Shuart Stadium
Saturday, July 15th
● Cannons @ Rattlers – 7 pm, Capelli Sports Stadium
● Lizards @ Hounds – 7 pm, Legion Memorial
● Bayhawks @ Launch – 7 pm, FAU Stadium
● Outlaws @ Machine – 7 pm, Fortress Obetz