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Nationals Ready For Dogfight Against Hounds

August 1, 2013 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Hamilton Nationals News Release

The Hamilton Nationals make their final road trip of the regular season on Saturday, August 3rd, when they battle the Charlotte Hounds at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Hamilton can clinch the second seed with a win or with a Chesapeake loss.

Scouting the Nationals: For the third time in team history, the Nationals are heading to the Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend. Hamilton (9-3) locked up a playoff berth after defeating the Boston Cannons 17-12 on July 27th at Ron Joyce Stadium. The Nationals used nine different goal scorers to win for the third straight week, and tied their best offensive output of the season with 17 points. Rookie Kevin Cunningham (2+3) tied his career high with five points, while fellow first-year pro Garrett Thul notched a career-best six points (5+1+0). Thul was named the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week for his breakout effort. On defense, Hamilton nearly blanked Paul Rabil, who entered the game as the MLL's leading point man, limiting him to a two-point goal in the fourth quarter. Brett Queener made 17 saves and scored his first MLL goal early in the first quarter. Kevin Crowley extended his team record point streak to 27 games, while Joe Walters reached 24 games on his current streak.

Nationals among MLL leaders: Heading into the week, Kevin Crowley (32+1+11) is second in the MLL in goals and is tied for second in points (44). Joe Walters leads the MLL in assists (22) and is tied for fourth in points (41). Kevin Cunningham is second with 21 assists. Goalie Brett Queener leads the league with a .614 save percentage and is third in the MLL with an 11.18 goals-against average. Brodie Merrill ranks fourth in the MLL with 74 ground balls.

Closing in on Record: Kevin Crowley needs just seven points to set the Nationals' record for points in a season. Merrick Thompson set the standard during the 2009 season with 50.

Elite Eight: Eight members of the Hamilton Nationals were selected to try out for the U.S. Men's National Team, which will defend its world title at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships from July 10-19, 2014, in Denver. Nationals Kevin Cunningham, Tucker Durkin, Cameron Lao-Gosney, Roman Lao-Gosney, Matt Lovejoy, Mike Poppleton, Brett Queener and Garrett Thul will attend the tryouts from August 30-September 1 at Goucher College in Baltimore, Md.

Scouting Charlotte: The Hounds (6-6) moved into sole possession of fourth place with a 13-10 victory over the Ohio Machine last Saturday at Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio. Peet Poillon was named Player of the Game after a four-point performance, which included two goals and two assists. Charlotte can now clinch the first playoff berth in team history with a win against Hamilton and a Boston loss. Matt Danowski enters the game tied for seventh in the MLL in points (38) and tied for fourth in two-point goals (four). The Hounds dropped their only game of the season against Hamilton, losing 16-15 in overtime on May 17th.

Next Game: Hamilton ends the regular season with a 3:00 p.m. showdown with the undefeated Denver Outlaws (12-0) at Ron Joyce Stadium on Saturday, August 10th. For tickets go to www.nationalslacrosse.com or call the Nationals Ticket Office at (905) 525-NATS. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Championship Weekend: MLL Championship Weekend, presented by Smartlink, will take place at PPL Park in the Philadelphia Area on Saturday and Sunday August 24-25. Tickets for the two-day event are available at MajorLeagueLacrosse.com/championship-weekend/.

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