The Charlotte Hounds lost their inaugural game in franchise history 21-12 to the Denver Outlaws. Playing in front of a crowd of 6,734 at American Legion Memorial Stadium, Outlaws midfielder Peet Poillon scored 4 goals, including a 2-pointer, and added 2 assists for 7 total points and Bud Light Player of the Game honors. Charlotte’s Stephen Berger had 4 goals of his own, including the first ever in Hounds history on a behind the back shot that went over the right shoulder of Outlaws goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman.
The Outlaws got an early 2-1 advantage from a
Jeremy Sieverts 2-point goal, a shot that bounced off the crossbar and past Hounds goalie
Adam Ghitelman. After the teams traded goals,
Steve Panarelli made a costly turnover that led to another Outlaws 2-point goal, this time by Joe Yevoli, ending the first quarter with Denver up 5-3.
Berger scored his third of the game 1:15 into the second quarter, but following the goal Hounds defenseman
Ricky Pages delivered an illegal body check to
Josh Sims which put the Outlaws man-up for one minute. Halfway through the penalty time, Poillon took a low shot that skipped to the back of the net and increased the Outlaws lead to 6-4. The Hounds would respond on their next possession as
Billy Bitter sprinted from behind the cage, shot on the run from about 10 yards out and cut the deficit back to 6-5. Then, for the first time in the game, a team would score two in a row as
Jovan Miller ripped a 2-pointer past Schwartzman for a 7-6 Hounds lead. The momentum didn’t last long as Denver tallied four in a row to end the half. The final first half goal came after Ghitelman left the crease to make a defensive play, leaving
Ryan Hoff and the net wide open for an 11-7 Outlaws advantage. Ghitelman was called for an illegal body check penalty on the play, and missed the last 15 seconds of the half, as well as the start of the third.
Charlotte came out shooting to start the third as
Brian Carroll scored twice and Berger beat Schwartzman in transition to score the 200
th point of his career. The Hounds were within 2 when Spencer Wims forced a turnover but immediately lost the ball again, allowing the Outlaws to regain possession and work the offense around to Poillon for his third goal of the night. Five more goals followed for Denver, including their fifth 2-pointer of the night for an 18-10 lead 2:10 into the fourth quarter.
The Hounds would score twice more in the fourth, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Outlaws tallied another three to finish the game at 21-12. The Outlaws victory was aided by their dominating time of possession, as Christopher Mattes went 20-32 on face-offs and the team earned 40 ground balls in comparison to the Hounds’ 27.
It won’t get an easier for the first-year franchise as they travel to Boston next Saturday to face the defending champion Cannons. The Cannons are coming off a dominating 15-3 victory over the Rochester Ratters.
complete boxscore of this game.