May 3, 2014 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Charlotte Hounds
The Hounds on Saturday night dropped their second straight game, falling 11-8 to the Florida Launch at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. With the loss, the Hounds fall to 0-2 while the Launch earned their first win in MLL history to move to 1-1.
Goaltending was the story of the first quarter, as Hounds netminder Pierce Basset and Launch goalie Brett Queenerkept the game scoreless for over six minutes before Launch attack Grant Kaleikau got on the board. His goal was followed by another from Mario Ventiquattro to give the Launch an early 2-0 lead. Matt Danowski pulled the Hounds back within one, but Garrett Thul scored with 45 seconds left in the quarter to push the Launch lead to 3-1.
The Hounds came out shooting in the second, as Matt White and Danowski tallied back-to-back goals within the first three minutes to make it a 3-3 game. The Launch regained the lead with a power-play goal from 2013 MLL MVP Kevin Crowley, but Dean Gibbons responded with his first MLL goal to make it a tie game at the half.
The Launch stole the momentum at the start of the third, as former Hound Josh Amidon scored within 34 seconds off the opening faceoff. Veteran Casey Powell followed with his first of the night to put the Launch ahead 5-3. The teams traded goals before the Hounds rattled off two straight from Joe Cummings and Jake Tripuka as time ran out to force a 7-7 game into the final quarter.
Queener put the Launch on his back in the fourth, turning away shot after shot from the Hounds as the home team racked up another three goals, including two from Thul, to get in front 10-7 with just under four minutes remaining in the game. Danowski - who was shut out in Week 1 - scored his second of the game with 2:27 to go, but it would be the last goal of the game for the Hounds. Roman Loa-Gosney added a late goal for the Launch to cap off the 11-8 victory. Queener finished the game with 18 saves, while Bassett had 11 for the Hounds.
Despite the loss, the Hounds showed major improvement on faceoffs, as Tim Fallon went 15-23 at the X. They will return home to American Legion Memorial Stadium next Saturday for an afternoon tilt against the defending champion Bayhawks. The game is a rematch of the 2013 MLL title game, and will begin at 3:30pm. The Bayhawks have opened the season 1-1, and are coming off a 12-11 OT victory over the Lizards.