By Sam Gest | 7/26/13 3:00 PM
Charlotte Hounds at Ohio Machine
Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m. – Selby Stadium
TV Coverage: ESPN3, Regional Stations
The Ohio Machine returns to the confines of Selby Stadium on Saturday night to host the Charlotte Hounds in a 7 PM matchup that will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, and well as select regional channels.
Ohio, at 1-10, has officially been eliminated from playoff contention, and now hopes to play the role of spoiler against a 5-6 Hounds squad that is in the thick of the playoff hunt.
In the first matchup between the two teams, Charlotte outscored Ohio 8-1 in the decisive third quarter on the way to a 13-7 victory. Eric Lusby’s five goals led the way for the Hounds, while Matt Danowski added three goals, including a two-pointer.
Despite the lack of results, Ohio has upped its level of play, dropping back-to-back games by only one goal, the most recent being a 13-12 loss to second-place Hamilton.
One of the reasons for the better performances has been the rejuvenation of a previously stagnant offense. Attackman Steele Stanwick leads the team with 26 points and 17 assists, but the star of late has been rookie attackman Logan Schuss. In only eight games, Schuss has 20 goals and three assists, and his three goal one assist performance against Hamilton earned him Cascade Rookie of the Week honors.
Joe Cummings has also packed a scoring punch this season, with 18 goals in ten appearances.
Defensively, the Machine has improved as the season has gone on, and the insertion of goalie Brian Phipps into the lineup has been a big reason why. Phipps has stopped 51 percent of shots faced, with many of those shots being right on the crease. Phipps’ goals against average is 12.57, down by more than half a goal from the team’s 13.09 for the entire season.
For Charlotte, this is a huge game, as their 5-6 record currently has them tied with the Boston Cannons for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Attackman Matt Danowski leads the Hounds offense with 24 goals and eight assists, while fellow attackman Ryan Young has 24 goals and seven assists. Midfielder Peet Poillon adds an offensive threat from the midfield with 21 goals, including a league-best five two pointers, and three assists to give him 29 points on the season.
Defensively, the Hounds are giving up 13.27 goals per game, but starter Adam Ghitelman is giving up only 12.43, while stopping 49 percent of shots faced.
Next, Ohio heads back on the road when it travels to Boston for a Saturday afternoon game against the Cannons on August 3 at 4 PM in the Youtube Game of the Week. Charlotte will return to action on Saturday as well, when it hosts the Hamilton Nationals for a 7 PM faceoff. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, as well as regionally on select channels.