CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Saturday, July 13)- Team Supernova used a nine-goal fourth quarter run to take over and defeat Eclipse 24-15 in Saturday's MLL All-Star Game, presented by Moe's Southwest Grill from American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Hamilton's Kevin Crowley was the star of the show, earning Most Valuable Player honors after a three-goal, two-assist performance.
Although the game was played in rain for much of the contest, the numerous fans in Charlotte, over six thousand, created a great atmosphere for an entertaining game.
Supernova, captained by MLL Ultimate Fan Fantasy winner Frank Ranfone, dominated the decisive fourth quarter, outscoring Eclipse, captained by UFF winner Cameron MacKenzie, 9-2 in the final frame. Denver's Zack Greer scored the first goal of the quarter for Eclipse to make it 15-14 in favor of Supernova, but Supernova dominated the rest of the quarter scoring the next nine goals to stretch the lead to an insurmountable 24-14 score. Crowley and Boston's Kevin Buchanan lead the fourth quarter charge with two goals each.
Sieverts finally put an end to the Supernova run with his second goal of the night, to bring the game to a 24-15 final.
Other than the final quarter, it was a tight, highly competitive contest that featured great play from both sides.
Supernova got off to a quick start, scoring the first two goals of the game with Crowley tallying the game's first goal less than a minute into the game. Ohio's Steele Stanwick followed that goal with a tally of his own to push the score to 2-0.
New York's Rookie attackman Rob Pannell got Eclipse on the board when he received a feed from his Lizards teammate Greg Gurenlian and ripped a right-handed shot past Denver's Jesse Schwartzman.
Supernova responded with a four-point run, as Chesapeake's Ben Rubeor and Boston's Mike Stone tallied goals before Ohio's Kyle Hartzell ripped a deep two-pointer to extend the lead to five. Back-to-back goals from Rochester's John Ranagan and Pannell brought the Eclipse back within three, but Rubeor's behind the back goal pushed the Supernova advantage to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the pace pick up quite a bit, and the energetic Charlotte crowd came alive as a result.
Hamilton's Joe Walters opened the second quarter with a behind the back goal of his own when he received a pass from Rochester's Jordan MacIntosh and put it past New York's Drew Adams.
Pannell followed by completing his first half hat-trick before Denver's Drew Snider drove through the Supernova defense and put a shot past his Denver teammate Schwartzman to make the score 8-5. Gurenlian then won the faceoff and took it all the way to the cage for a goal of his own to cap off the three-goal Eclipse run and bring the score to 8-6.
Supernova answered with a five point run to push the lead to 13-7. Stone got the run started with his second goal before Walters also recorded his second. Buchanan kept the run going with a two-point goal, and Charlotte's Peet Poillon capped off the run to make it 13-6, Supernova. Eclipse got back within six before halftime, when Chesapeake's Steven Brooks received a pass from Pannell and put it past Adams to close out the half.
Eclipse dominated the third quarter as New York's Tommy Palasek scored consecutive goals to get the half going. Palasek's goals were followed by four more consecutive Eclipse scores that brought the count to 13-all.
During the run, Hamilton goalie Brett Queener made his way all they way down the field to record a rare goal, while Charlotte's Ryan Young, Denver's Jeremy Sieverts and Boston's Ryan Sweeney all recorded their first goals of the contest. Sweeney's goal capped off a 7-0 that stretched over two quarters.
Poillon finally ended the run with his second goal of the night before Denver's Chris Bocklet, the MLL leader in goals, scored his first goal of the game to give Supernova a 15-13 lead.
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-Earlier in the day several players served as guest coaches during the All-Star Youth tournament organized with Hounds defenseman Ryan Flanagan's Team 24/7.
-Some All-Stars were on hand at the Moe's Luncheon at a local Moe's Southwest Grill to make burritos and interact with fans.
-The enthusiastic crowd was treated to plenty of halftime entertainment when a number of players participated in the MLL Skills Competition between the two halves.
-Charlotte's own Mike Sawyer won the Fastest Shot Contest, breaking the record previously shared by Hartzell and Paul Rabil with a 114 mile per hour shot.
-Schwartzman won the Long Distance Accuracy Contest in the event's first ever installment.
-Buchanan won the Freestyle Competition for the second time, showing off some sweet moves with his stick.