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2011 All-Star Game Notebook

July 7, 2011
SETTING THE SCENE: Saturday's game marks the 10th All-Star Game in the 11-year history of Major League Lacrosse … It is the fourth time in the last six years that the game has been played in Boston … In 2006 and 2007, the game was played at Nickerson Field at the campus of Boston University … After two years at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the game returned to Boston, but moved to Harvard Stadium, which is the regular season home of the Boston Cannons … Denver has hosted the All-Star Game three times while three other cities have hosted one All-Star Game.  

SATURDAY'S NATIONAL ANTHEM SINGER: Tonight’s National Anthem will be performed by Boston radio personality Kennedy of the Karson and Kennedy Show on local station Mix 104.1 … Kennedy, who has been at Mix 104.1 since January, 2009, earned a theatre degree from Drake University and performed in musical theatre before beginning her radio career … She has been a member of the Karson and Kennedy Show for seven years.

WITHERSBY TO PERFORM AT ALL-STAR GAME: Withersby, a band from New York City, will perform in the FanZone prior to this year’s All-Star Game … The band consists of vocalists Kevin Madden and Dan Altano along with band members Dan Sullivan and Paul Cigolini … The band’s favorite MLL team is the Long Island Lizards. 

MLL GIVES BACK: For the fifth straight year, Major League Lacrosse will hold an All-Star Game jersey auction after the All-Star Game … The auction will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation … Following tonight’s game, the players will autograph their game-used jerseys and they will be auctioned off on the MLL official website, … The New Balance Foundation will match the total amount raised by fans in the auction … Since 2007, the MLL All-Star Game jersey auction has raised over $120,000 for various charities.  

HONORARY CAPTAINS: For the first time in MLL All-Star Game history, the teams will be selected by a pair of honorary captains, who earned the privilege after winning the “Ultimate MLL Fan Fantasy” Contest … Nathan Solomon, a 14-year-old Chesapeake Bayhawks fan from Alpharetta, Ga., and Michael Hatala, a 13-year-old Long Island Lizards fan of Glen Cove, N.Y., selected the teams on Friday night. 

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!: Saturday’s game will be televised live on ESPN2 and will also be available online on … Joe Beninati and Quint Kessenich will handle the play-by-play and color analyst duties, respectively. 

LAST YEAR’S GAME: Attackman Ryan Powell scored the game-winning goal with one minute left in regulation to lead Team USA to a stunning 13-12 victory over the MLL All-Stars in last year’s All-Star Game at Harvard Stadium … The game drew a Boston MLL record crowd of 11,771 fans … Powell’s goal completed a four-goal comeback by Team USA over a five-minute span … After the MLL All-Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, Team USA scored six of the next seven goals to take a 6-3 lead less than two minutes into the third quarter … However, the MLL All-Stars scored six straight goals, including a pair from Matt Danowski, to regain a 9-6 advantage … Team USA scored three straight goals to tie the game before the MLL All-Stars scored three goals in five minutes for a 12-9 cushion … Attackman Brendan Mundorf was named as the Bud Light Player of the Game after tying an All-Star Game record with six goals for Team USA.

SHOW OFF THOSE SKILLS: For the ninth straight season, Major League Lacrosse will hold its annual Bud Light Skills Competition … The competition will consist of the Fastest Shot and Freestyle contests along with a new event, the Goalie Gauntlet … The Goalie Gauntlet replaces the two-point accuracy shot contest and will consist of an obstacle course for the four participating goalkeepers … Boston Cannons midfielder Paul Rabil is the two-time defending champion in the Fastest Shot contest while fellow Boston midfielder Kevin Buchanan won the Freestyle competition last year … However, Rabil will be competing in the Freestyle event this year while Buchanan was not selected to the All-Star Game.

2011 Bud Light MLL Skills Competition Participants

Fastest Shot Contest

Ben Hunt, Chesapeake

Kyle Hartzell, Chesapeake

Michael Kimmel, Chesapeake

Stephen Peyser, Long Island

Brad Ross, Boston

Past Winners: 2003 – David Evans (BOS); 2004 – David Evans (BOS); 2005 – Adam Doneger (Young Gun All-Stars); 2006 – Chris Fiore (MLL All-Stars); 2007 – Brian Langtry (Denver); 2008 – Anthony Kelly (Los Angeles); 2009 – Paul Rabil (Boston); 2010 – Paul Rabil (Team USA)

Freestyle Contest

Stephen Berger, Long Island

Martin Cahill, Rochester

Ned Crotty, Rochester

Paul Rabil, Boston

Past Winners: 2003 – Casey Powell (Rochester); 2004 – Matt Striebel (Philadelphia); 2005 – Chris Rotelli (Young Guns); 2006 – Mikey Powell (Team USA); 2007 – Mikey Powell (Boston); 2008 – Chazz Woodson (Los Angeles); 2009 – Brett Queener (Toronto); 2010 – Kevin Buchanan (MLL All-Stars)

Goalie Gauntlet

Drew Adams, Long Island

Joe Marra, Hamilton

Brian Phipps, Chesapeake

Jesse Schwartzman, Denver

10 COUNT: The Chesapeake Bayhawks and the Boston Cannons each had a total of 10 players selected for the All-Star Game … However, Chesapeake goalkeeper Chris Garrity along with midfielders Kyle Dixon and Alex Smith will not play due to injury …  In addition, Boston defenseman Kyle Sweeney will not compete in this year’s All-Star Game due to injury.

ON THE SIDELINES: Chesapeake Bayhawks Coach Brendan Kelly and Boston Cannons Coach Bill Daye will serve as the coaches for this year’s All-Star Game … For Kelly, it will be the first time he is serving as a coach for the All-Star Game … Meanwhile, Daye is serving as a head coach for the All-Star Game for the second time … He also served as head coach for the Eastern Conference in 2008 … Daye has also served as an assistant coach in two other All-Star Games.

AN EVEN DOZEN: There are 12 players who are making their first All-Star Game appearances … Boston and Chesapeake each have four first-time All-Stars.   

ELDER STATESMEN: Rochester Rattlers midfielder Matt Striebel will set an MLL All-Star Game record by playing in his seventh All-Star Game this year … He is the fifth player in MLL history to play in at least six All-Star Games … Striebel, who has played in each of the last seven All-Star affairs, has scored three goals with five assists in his MLL All-Star Game career … Meanwhile, Boston Cannons attackman Ryan Boyle and Hamilton Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill will be playing in their sixth All-Star Game … For Merrill, it is the sixth straight year he has played in the annual exhibition.  

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: Each of the last two All-Star Games have been decided by a one-point margin, including an overtime game in 2009 … There have been three All-Star Games decided by a single point … In 2005, the Young Gun All-Stars posted a 21-20 overtime victory over the Old School All-Stars at INVESCO Field at Mile High in Denver … The average margin of victory in the first nine All-Star Games has been 6.7 points per game with two games being decided by 15 or more points.