Colorado Mammoth's Casey Powell made a memorable season debut with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in MLL summer action. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)
After a dozen National Lacrosse League players took part in the 2013 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game the week before, the MLL schedule got back into gear with four games this past weekend. While NLL players once again contributed to their summer teams in a big way, one of the biggest storylines was the MLL season debut of Colorado Mammoth forward Casey Powell.
Powell, who played in just three MLL games last season, made a memorable return to action with the Chesapeake Bayhawks (7-4) by scoring a hat trick, including a game-tying diving wraparound goal with five seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
"I saw out of the corner of my eye that I drew a penalty, but I knew there was under 10 seconds so we probably wouldn't be able to get a great shot off on man up," Powell told LaxMagazine. "I was able to hang onto the ball when I rolled. When I popped up, I didn't see anyone there so I went to the goal and turned the corner. I didn't see the ball go in, but I heard that it trickled into the corner."
Philadelphia Wings forward Drew Westervelt, tied for fourth in the MLL with 25 goals and ranks ninth in the league with 33 points (25+8), then scored the OT game winner for the 13-12 win over the Boston Cannons (5-6) on Thursday. Powell's Mammoth teammate John Grant, Jr. scored twice for Chesapeake and added an assist. Westervelt's Wings teammate Paul Rabil, who leads the MLL with 45 points (31+15) and ranks third in the league with 31 goals, scored three times for the Cannons in the losing effort.
In the first of three Saturday games, the undefeated Denver Outlaws (11-0) stayed perfect with a 12-9 win over the Rochester Rattlers (4-7). Wings forward Brendan Mundorf, currently fourth in the MLL with 41 points (23+18), had a game-high five points (2+3) to key the Outlaws' win while Edmonton Rush forward Zack Greer added two points (1+1). Wings forward Ned Crotty had tied for the team-high with three points (1+2) while Wings defenseman Mike Manley and Minnesota Swarm transition player Jordan MacIntosh both scored once in the loss.
The Charlotte Hounds (5-6) held on to beat the New York Lizards (3-8) by a score of 13-11 despite two goals each from Wings forward Max Seibald and Swarm transition player David Earl and a game-high five points (3+2) from highly-rated NLL Entry Draft prospect Rob Pannell for New York.
To cap off the weekend, the second-place Hamilton Nationals (8-3) edged the last-place Ohio Machine (1-10) with a 13-12 win. The Nationals, owned by Rochester Knighthawks owner and GM Curt Styres, were led by six points each from Knighthawks teammates Cody Jamieson (2+4) and Joe Walters (3+3). Walters leads the MLL with 21 assists on the season and sits fifth in league scoring with 39 points (18+21) in just nine games played. Wings forward Kevin Crowley scored twice for Hamilton and is now second in the league in goals (32) and third in points (43). Wings transition player Brodie Merrill scored once had five ground balls for the Nationals. Merrill ranks fourth in the MLL (and first among non-faceoffmen) with 70 loose balls on the year. Machine attackman Logan Schuss, projected as the first overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft, continued to impress with a hat trick and team-high four points in the loss.
The 2013 MLL All-Star Game on July 13 featured 12 NLL players including ASG Most Valuable Player Kevin Crowley, Paul Rabil, Kevin Buchanan, Kyle Sweeney, Drew Westervelt, Zack Greer, Brodie Merrill, Joe Walters, Kyle Hartzell, Ned Crotty, Jordan MacIntosh, and Mike Manley along with Draft prospect Rob Pannell. Crowley was named Game MVP after posting five points (3+2) to help Team Supernova take down Team Eclipse by a score of 24-15.