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Hounds Win Second Straight Behind Sawyer's Big Night

March 19, 2016
The Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night won their second straight game, defeating the Florida Launch 14-13 in front of 4,705 fans at American Legion Memorial Stadium. Mike Sawyer was named Player of the Game for his four-point performance, while the Launch were led by Casey Powell’s two goals and three assists.

Sawyer opened the scoring off a feed from Mike Chanenchuk just 1:37 into the game. Less than two minutes later, the Hounds forced a turnover and Matt Danowski found Ryan Young in front of the cage for an early 2-0 lead. But reigning league MVP Kevin Crowley scored two straight to tie the game with 6:16 remaining in the quarter. The Hounds regained the lead after Danowski worked his way around the back of the cage and dribble the ball in past Launch goalie Brett Queener.

The second quarter was a high scoring affair, starting with two goals from the Hounds. Justin Ward scored just as a slashing penalty expired for the Launch, and Chanenchuck followed up a minute later with a shot on the run to take a 5-2 lead. The Launch got one back, scored by Kevin Cunningham, but it was immediately followed by a goal from John Haus to keep the Hounds in front by three. But Cunningham scored again, which started a three goal run for the Launch, capped by Stephen Keogh’s equalizer with 2:24 to play in the half. The Launch then got hit with a holding penalty, which set up a power-play goal from Thomas DeNapoli after a feed from Ward to go ahead 7-6. But the Launch responded, as Crowley fired a shot that bounced off the top of Adam Ghitelman’s stick and into the net to tie the game at seven apiece going into the half.

Kieran McArdle scored two minutes out of the half to give the Launch their first lead of the game, 8-7. The teams traded goals before the Hounds rattled off four straight, starting with Mason Poli and capped by two goals from Sawyer in the final 15 seconds of the quarter. Sawyer’s second tally, with 0.4 seconds on the clock, was a two-point goal and gave the Hounds a 13-9 advantage going into the final frame.

The Launch slowly started to come back in the fourth, opening the quarter with three straight goals, including two from Keogh to make it a 13-12 game with 5:29 left to play. The Launch were on the move to score again, but the Hounds were able to break up the play and quickly move down the field where Pat Laconi recorded his first MLL goal to go ahead 14-13. Powell scored with 3:52 to play to account for the 14-13 final.

Ghitelman and Queener both finished the night with 14 saves on 27 shots. The Launch had control at the faceoff X, where Chris Mattes went 16-29, but the Hounds won the groundball game 36-29.

The Hounds (3-4) next week travel to New York to face the Lizards for the first time this season. The game will be played at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium at 7:00pm ET on Saturday, June 21. The Lizards (3-3) are in Denver this week for a game against the Outlaws.

See the complete box score for this game.