By Machine Media Relations | 7/22/10 5:58 PM
DENVER, Colo.– Returning to action for the first time in two weeks, the Chicago Machine continues its drive toward a postseason berth on Saturday night at INVESCO Field at Mile High against the Major League Lacrosse-leading Denver Outlaws. Opening face-off is slated for 7:02 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com and shown via tape delay on Universal Sports and Brighthouse TV.
Following a 17-15 setback against the Long Island Lizards on July 10, the Machine currently stands in fourth place in the MLL standings with a 4-5 record. The top four teams will advance to the MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior on August 21 and 22 in Annapolis.
Attackman Mike Leveille led the Machine in the loss against Long Island by scoring three goals with an assist while rookie attackman Ned Crotty contributed the first “hat trick” of his professional career by scoring three goals. Midfielder Matt Striebel, who is one of five Chicago players playing in the FIL World Championships, added two goals with two assists.
The fourth-leading scorer in the MLL, Mike Leveille leads the Machine with 34 points while attackman Kevin Leveille ranks second on the team with 32 points and leads Chicago with 23 goals. Kevin Leveille is tied with Toronto attackman John Grant, Jr. for sixth in the MLL in scoring.
However, both players will miss Saturday’s game because of playing for Team USA in the FIL World Championship final against Team Canada.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Bud Petit has continued to play well for the Machine, stopping 52.5 per cent of the shots he has faced while allowing 13.31 goals per game. He made 12 saves in the loss against Long Island.
Currently tied with Boston for first place in the MLL standings, Denver has won back-to-back games following the Outlaws’ 15-14 overtime victory over Toronto on July 10. Midfielder Steve Giannone scored the game-winning goal just 48 seconds into the overtime period as the Outlaws rallied from a three-point deficit in the fourth quarter to earn the victory.
Midfielder Dan Hardy scored two goals with four assists to lead the Outlaws in the victory while midfielder Alex Hopmann added three goals with an assist. Attackman Brendan Mundorf, who is playing for Team USA this week, added two goals with two assists as Denver outshot Toronto by a 48-32 margin.
The second-leading scorer in the MLL, Mundorf has scored 18 goals with 15 assists while attackman Drew Westervelt has contributed 26 points by scoring 16 goals, including three two-point goals, with seven assists. Midfielder Max Seibald, who is playing for Team USA this week, has 16 goals (2 two-point goals) with seven assists.
Goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman has stopped 53.2 per cent of the shots he has faced this season while posting a 12.66 goals against average. He made 13 saves in the overtime victory over Toronto on July 10 and had a season-high 17 saves in a victory over Chesapeake on June 19.
The Machine and the Outlaws will be meeting for the second time this season. Led by a seven-point performance from Mike Leveille, the Machine defeated Denver by an 18-14 margin. However, the Outlaws lead the all-time series by an 8-4 margin.
The Machine, which will play two of its final three games at Denver, will travel to Annapolis next week for a 7 p.m. match-up against the Chesapeake Bayhawks, who are playing at Long Island on Thursday night.
You always remember your first – The Machine’s 19-17 victory over Denver on June 2, 2007 marked the first-ever win in Chicago’s history.
30 rock– Attackman Kevin Leveille has scored 34 goals in 12 career games against the Outlaws; he has recorded 43 points in those games. He had four goals with an assist in the first meeting this season.
Lucky seven– In the first meeting against the Outlaws on June 25, attackman Mike Leveille scored a career-high five goals and tallied seven points to earn Bud Light MVP honors. He was also named as the MLL’s Offensive Player of the Week for his effort.
Home run – The home team has won nine of the previous 12 meetings in the Denver-Chicago series.
Welcome home– Saturday’s game between the Outlaws and the Machine will mark the return of midfielder Josh Sims, who was acquired by Chicago earlier this season in a trade with Toronto. Sims played four seasons in Denver and scored 42 goals for the Outlaws.
Connect four– The Machine set a team record by posting its fourth win of the season against Denver on June 25; Chicago posted a 3-9 record in each of the last three years after an 0-12 record in 2006.
Overtime is not our time– The Machine is now 0-8 all-time in overtime games following its 13-12 setback against Long Island on July 3; it was also the Machine’s fifth straight loss against the Lizards.
A helping hand– Entering Saturday’s games, the Machine leads the league with 73 assists in nine games. Attackman Mike Leveille is fourth in the MLL with 13 assists.
Point taken– The Machine also leads the MLL with 199 points through the first nine games. Chicago tallied 26 points in its loss against Long Island on July 10.
30-something– Attackmen Kevin Leveille and Mike Leveille are ranked among the MLL’s scoring leaders and have each tallied at least 30 points this season; Mike Leveille is fourth in the league with 34 points (21+13) while Kevin Leveille has 32 points (23+9).
From way downtown– Rookie attackman Ned Crotty was the winner in the two-point accuracy contest during the Bud Light MLL Skills Competition during half-time of the MLL All-Star Game on July 8. Crotty was one of nine Chicago players to participate in the annual exhibition.
20-20– Attackman Mike Leveille has tallied 20 points in the last four games, scoring 13 goals with 7 assists. He tallied three goals with an assist against Long Island on July 10.
Century mark– Attackman Mike Leveille reached the 100-point mark for his career with a seven-point effort against Denver on June 25; entering this week’s game against Denver, he has scored 63 goals with 49 assists in 31 career games.
Mister assister– Rookie attackman Ned Crotty has recorded all eight of his assists in the Machine’s last four games. He had a season-high four assists in the overtime loss against the Lizards on July 3.
Face it– The Machine ranks third in the MLL with a .514 face-off win percentage, trailing only the Bayhawks and the Cannons. Led by Alex Smith, Chesapeake has won 58.1 per cent of its face-off attempts this year while Boston has a .520 win percentage.
Centennial– The Machine ranks second in the MLL this season with 126 goals; Boston has scored a league-high 128 goals in the first nine games.
Staying inside– The Machine has scored just four two-point goals this season, which is the fewest in the league.
Power outage –The Machine continue to lead the MLL with an .829 penalty killing percentage and has allowed just six power-play goals this season. Chicago allowed just one power-play goal against Long Island on July 10.
Powerful play– The Machine is tied for second in the MLL with a .400 power-play percentage and 16 power-play goals. Denver leads the MLL with a .448 success rate in power-play situations.
On our best behavior– Despite being called for a season-high 7.0 penalty minutes against Long Island on July 10, the Machine have been called for the fewest penalty minutes this season. Chicago has been called for 30.5 penalty minutes in 9 games, a 3.39 average.
On second thought– The Machine leads the MLL with 39 goals in the second quarter this season; Chicago scored four goals in the second quarter against Long Island on July 10.
Third rock– The Machine has allowed the most goals in the third quarter this season. Through the first nine games, Chicago’s opponents have scored 33 goals in the third quarter.
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