Colorado Mammoth forward John Grant, Jr. was named MVP after helping Chesapeake repeat in MLL Championship Weekend. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)
The Chesapeake Bayhawks won their second-straight Major League Lacrosse championship and their third title in four years with the help of Colorado Mammoth forward and Weekend MVP John Grant, Jr. while other NLL players were also on display at PPL Park in Philadelphia for the MLL Championship.
In the first of two semifinal games on Saturday, the Charlotte Hounds upset the Denver Outlaws, a team that went 14-0 during the regular season, with a 17-14 win. Calgary Roughnecks transition player Geoff Snider scored what proved to be the game-winning goal, went 17-for-25 (.680) on faceoffs and recovered a weekend-high 12 ground balls. Philadelphia Wings forward Brendan Mundorf scored twice for the Outlaws while Edmonton Rush forward Zack Greer also found the net in the losing effort for the top seed.
The Bayhawks edged the Hamilton Nationals by a score of 13-12 led by Grant, Jr.'s three points (2+1), two points (1+1) from his Mammoth teammate Casey Powell and two tallies from Wings forward Drew Westervelt, while Wings defenseman Jeff Reynolds also contributed two ground balls. Rochester Knighthawks forward Joe Walters had a game-high five points (2+3) while K-Hawks teammate Cody Jamieson had a goal and an assist. Wings forward and 2013 MLL MVP Kevin Crowley had three points (2+1) for the Nationals who also got a goal and a game-high 11 ground balls from Crowley's Wings teammate Brodie Merrill. 2013 NLL Entry Draft prospect and top-rated defenseman Jason Noble was second on Hamilton with five ground balls.
The Bayhawks went back-to-back with a 10-9 victory over the Hounds on Sunday. Grant, Jr. scored four unanswered goals, twice with one second left in the first and second quarters, to earn the most valuable player honors. Westervelt recorded four points (3+1) and scored the eventual game-winner midway through the fourth quarter. Powell had three points (1+2) with a team-high assists while Reynolds again contributed on the defensive end with two ground balls. Snider went an impressive 15-for-20 (75%) on the draw and had a game-high six ground balls in continuing his strong play since joining the team before the playoffs.
We saw plenty of NLL players and prospects shine in the MLL as they prepared for another year of indoor lacrosse by playing outdoor at the highest level. With the summer nearly in the books, we're now that much closer to the 2014 NLL season.