By Steve Samek
On August 19, 2017, Major League Lacrosse will name a champion. The Denver Outlaws, last year’s winner’s go up against the Ohio Machine, a two-time entrant in the title game. The battle takes place in Frisco, Texas at a neutral site.
Denver is going for championship number seven. Last season they beat this Machine team by a score of 19-18 in the title game after dispatching the New York Lizard’s in round one.
This season the Outlaws went 9-5, tying for first. Denver advanced with a first- round victory over Rochester 15-8.
Ohio was the top seed last season. They too out Charlotte in round one 17-10 to advance to the title match in 2016.
Ohio finished the regular season at 9-5, tied for first with the Outlaws. The Machine took an 18-13 battle with the Florida Launch to get back to the title game.
This season the teams have split a two -game series. Denver took game one 13-11 on the road. Ohio returned the favor with a 13-12 road win on July 23,2016.
The Outlaws look good with a lineup including last season’s MLL Championship game MVP in Eric Law, Rookie of the year candidate in Zack Currier. and goalie of the year candidate Jack Kelly. The team also scored 199 times while giving up 163 goals against, both top marks in the league.
The Machine counter with an offense that scored 195 goals and a defense that only allowed 163. A big reason for that is goalie of the year candidate Kyle Bernlohr. https://t.co/mnu8yhqMgm
This battle is too close to call. The goaltending will be fantastic and the scoring too. This should come down to a third one- goal game. Though I thin Denver takes this one with all the championship experience it owns. 14-13 Outlaws is my prediction.