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Breaking down Hounds at Cannons

By Kelsey Doherty & Sean Desmond |  7/6/13 8:10 AM

Breaking down Hounds at Cannons


As the MLL enters its tenth week of the regular season, the race to claim a playoff spot is heating up. Boston is coming off of three straight wins and is hoping notch on a fourth against the 4-5 Charlotte Hounds. The Cannons currently hold the playoff tie-breaker over the Charlotte, but if the Hounds can pull off a three-point victory at Harvard Stadium Saturday night, Charlotte will create some much needed separation from Boston. Who has the advantage in a matchup that could hold major playoff implications? Let’s look at the numbers and break down this matchup for fourth place.

Offense:

Boston

  • 297 shooting percentage as a team through their first nine games.
  • Tied for fourth in the league in ground balls which have created scoring opportunities as well as lengthy offensive possessions.
  • Currently only have one offensive player ranked in the top-ten in scoring this summer. Paul Rabil is tied for fourth in the league in points with 35.
  • Cam Flint is beginning to produce from the midfield for the Cannons. The Denver graduate earned Cascade rookie of the week honors thanks to a four point performance last Saturday night in a win over Ohio.
  • Mike Stone has the hottest hand among the Boston veterans, the All-Star middie has 22 points. Over the last four games Stone has tallied eight goals.

Charlotte

  • The Hounds coming into week nine had the second most goals in the league, currently they are in third with 114 goals on the season, only two behind the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
  • Charlotte’s Matt Danowski and Ryan Young both make the top ten leading scorers, with 29 points for Danowski and 26 points to Young.
  • Charlotte is middle of the pack with 244 shots on goal, only three behind the Cannons.
  • Charlotte’s Matt Danowski and Peet Poillon have both posted three two point goals this season, making a big difference in games.
  • Charlotte is coming off their lowest scoring game of the season, having only put up 11 points on ten goals against the Denver Outlaws.

Advantage: Boston

While Charlotte started the season as one of the hottest offenses in the league, Boston’s attack has caught fire over the last three weeks helping propel the Cannons to a three game winning streak. Despite some major questions on defense, Boston’s offensive unit led by Rabil and Stone is producing enough to put the Cannons in a position to win every week.

 

Defense:

Boston

  • Have allowed a total of 123 goals on the season, averaging out to 12.6 per game.
  • Currently sitting at 7th in the league in two-point goals allowed with nine.
  • Boston’s two goaltenders that have seen playing time this season (Mike Gabel, Jordan Burke) rank 8th and 9th in the league in overall goaltending respectively.

Charlotte

  • Faceoff man, Tim Fallon, leads the league in groundballs with 80, including 16 in his week nine appearance against the Denver Outlaws.
  • While Charlotte’s Tim Fallon has an impressive number of groundballs he has struggled at the x leaving him with a .478 faceoff win percentage.
  • Charlotte’s attack, Danowski and Young, both have 20 goals on the season, making them one of the highest scoring attacks in the league.
  • Last time out against the Boston Cannons the Hounds held offensive powerhouse, Paul Rabil to a scoreless game. However, in their attempt to cover Rabil, they let Mike Stone put up a natural hat trick, and still lost 15-13.

Advantage: Push

Neither defense has been spectacular to this point in the season. Boston has struggled to slow down some of the most potent scorers in the league this summer, while Charlotte tends to give up goals in bunches and has issues slowing down the fast break at times. Don’t expect to see exceptional defense as both sides do their best work on the offensive side of the field.

 

Goaltending:

Boston

  • Burke has allowed eight two point goals, currently ranking last in the league.
  • The Cannons’ veteran netminder is posting a .512 save percentage in seven starts this season.
  • Burke is averaging 11.2 saves per game.
  • Burke has posted a 3-4 record this summer as a starter.

Charlotte

  • Adam Ghitelman in goal struggled during week nine, allowing 17 balls to hit the net.
  • Ghitelman sits as sixth in the league with a 12.34 goals allowed average.
  • The Virginia grad’s save percentage, .473, puts him at ninth in the league.
  • With Ghitelman in goal the Hounds are at .500 with a record of 4-4, while Jordan Burke for the Boston Cannons is 3-4 on the season.

Advantage: Charlotte

Now in his third season as a professional, Ghitelman has embraced the starting role in Charlotte and has become a viable, steady option for the second year team. Burke has struggled at times this season, and even though he is beginning to return to his All-Star form, we have to give the nod to Ghitelman based on the consistency he has showed so far this season.

So who has the advantage?

As always there is an “X” factor that cannot be measured by statistical analysis, and in this head-to-head matchup it is the momentum of Boston’s three game winning streak. After a disappointing start, the Cannons have rallied around new head coach John Tucker and have put themselves in a position to salvage their season. Who will come out on top in this matchup? Tune into ESPN2 Saturday night at 8 P.M, to watch MLL’s first nationally televised ESPN game of the season.



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