By #37 Jordan Hendry | 5/13/11 5:21 PM
Notoriously quick hands combined with equally quick mouths… Get ready for a real home opener Outlaws nation! This weekend not only marks the opening of the 11th MLL season, but the first game of the newly relocated Hamilton Nationals. For those seeking a more in depth view of the Nationals history, take a look at their website.
This is the team that explains Canadian field lacrosse. Besides their goalies, Canucks dominate the roster. Players to watch for: Brodie Merrill and John Grant Jr. They’re both lefties (no surprise there Canada), and each dominates their respective position.
Brodie is a free roaming long pole that wears number 17, look for him to be his disruptive self and take advantage of unsettled situations between the lines. His game is distinct and his influence is great, to beat this team you will have to come face-to-face with him and seize any opportunities given.
The one-handed wonder that is John Grant Jr. has all the attributes to make plays that you shake your head at. Sometimes it doesn’t even look like he is dodging at all, just posting up like Duncan, Jefferson, or Kobe. With a flick of the wrist (many times with only one hand on the stick) this guy can feed or put one in the back of the net. He’s living proof that in some circles of lacrosse you only need one hand and a solid chin. Shut this guy down and you have reason to celebrate.
Look for the altitude to be a problem for the travelling Nationals. Your Outlaws are coming in with one thing on their mind: overwhelm the Hamilton players coming from sea level to the Mile-High City with an all out blitz. Battles at the faceoff X are going to be key, with wing players going head-to-head to determine who controls the pace of the game.
The Outlaws are ready to push the pace of the game as they are primed for performance – just like your Daddy’s ’66 Shelby GT 350. The coaching and management staff have been working under the hood of this orange and black muscle car and added new fuel injectors in the form of Peet Poillon.
Thanks to General Manager Brian Reese, the Outlaws acquired Poillon, the MLL’s Most Improved Player and third-highest scorer from the 2010 campaign, in a trade with the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Watching this guy is akin to viewing Pete Sampras play a college tennis player – there is no competition. He breaks ankles and slings the orange rock so fast that you are not going to believe this guy once rode the pine. He’s a testament to those with die-hard attitudes; this guy hasn’t given up once and it shows. Don’t wish to acknowledge the truth? Watch this YouTube clip and see the light.
The Outlaws had a great outing against Poillion’s former team during the second week of training camp. Held at Anne Arundel Community College, the Annapolis campus played host to a lacrosse game that proved as great as the sunset. Goals scored from impossible angles and a speed that demands pure reaction, two of the top MLL franchises bumped up to mutually benefit each other in getting ready for the pace and intensity that can only be provided when you take lacrosse’s best and distribute them across six teams. Get ready for the summer Outlaws Nation; it’s time to ride!
-Jordan Hendry #37
Tickets for Denver's opener vs. Hamilton start at just $10 and can be purchased on www.DenverOutlaws.com or by calling 303-OUTLAWS. Additionally, the Outlaws announced they will host the March of Dimes Foundation and the Denver Foundation.
The March of Dimes will hold a tailgate party before the game at 5 p.m. MDT, and will receive a percentage of proceeds from ticket sales. Special ticket packages that support the March of Dimes start at $26.
The Outlaws and the Denver Foundation are pairing with the Little Pub Company to offer discounted tickets for the home opener. The team plans to donate a percentage of proceeds from ticket sales to local food pantries to help combat the rising hunger issues in Colorado.
Fans can receive the opportunity to meet Outlaws players through purchasing a ticket package with a built in donation. For more information on the two charities, or to purchase tickets, visit www.DenverOutlaws.com/hunger and www.denveroutlaws.com/mod or contact Dustin Parachini / Dustin.Parachini@DenverOutlaws.com.