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Lizards Slip by Nationals

June 13, 2013 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Hamilton Nationals News Release

The Hamilton Nationals suffered their second straight loss, dropping a 12-10 decision tonight to the New York Lizards at rain-soaked Icahn Stadium. The Nationals fell to 5-2 with the road loss, while New York improved to 3-4 and ended its two-game losing streak.

The Nationals were led by Kevin Crowley, who tied his career-high with five goals as part of a six-point night. Stephen Keogh (2+1) and Kevin Cunningham (1+2) added three-point performances. Rookie goalie Dillon Ward made 11 saves in his professional debut. Fellow Orangeville native Jason Noble made his pro debut, and was one of seven rookies in the lineup for Hamilton.

"We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole in the first half," said Nationals Head Coach Dave Huntley. "I was really pleased with the way we competed. Our decision-making improved and we put ourselves in a position to perhaps tie or win the game."

Hamilton outscored the Lizards 6-4 in the second half and cut the deficit to one with just over three minutes to play after a goal by Keogh. New York, however, scored off the ensuing faceoff as Rob Pannell connected for a 12-10 lead.

The Lizards were led by a five-point effort from Pannell (2+3) and a four-goal output by Tommy Palasek. Adams earned the victory in goal, making 10 saves which included shutting out Hamilton in the second. New York used a dominating second frame to open up a one-goal game. New York outscored Hamilton 5-0 as it got production from five different players, including Pannell who tied the game at four. Lizards' defensemen Michael Skudin and CJ Costabile even tallied goals and erased the 4-3 lead Hamilton established in the first 15 minutes.

The Lizards open the game with a 2-0 lead only to have Hamilton battle back with three of the next four goals. Crowley and Cody Jamieson answered the Lizards' two goals with back-to-back goals in a 1:02 span to tie the contest. Hamilton took its first lead of the game when Kevin Cunningham scooped up a low pass from Crowley and buried it at 6:12 of the first. Crowley responded to a goal by New York's David Earl with his second of the contest at 10:10 to give the Nats a 4-3 advantage.

After falling behind by four at halftime, Hamilton opened the third with Mike Poppleton's first pro goal, as it took him just 10 seconds to win the faceoff and beat Adams. The Nats eventually cut the deficit to two at 9-7 after two straight goals by Crowley early in the third. Yet, the Lizards' Palasek connected for two goals of his own to stake New York to an 11-7 advantage after three.

The fourth quarter was one of the best for Hamilton. Keogh scored twice and Crowley notched his fifth of the game to start the fourth and the Nats were within one at 11-10. Keogh's second came with 3:03 to play off an assist from Walters. The Nationals had little time to try to tie the game as Greg Gurenlian, won his 17th faceoff and set up Pannell just 12 seconds later for a 12-10 lead. Hamilton had a chance to tie the contest in the final seconds, but sailed a pass out of bounds that allowed the Lizards to run out the clock.

The Hamilton Nationals will host the Rochester Rattlers at Geo Group Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. on Saturday, June 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

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