#1 Chesapeake Bayhawks vs #2 Denver Outlaws
The MLL Championship featured two of the league’s most historic franchises and it did not disappoint.
Both the Bayhawks and Outlaws started off slow in their semi-final matchups, but it was Chesapeake that was able to start the game off hot putting five goals away before rookie Kyle Marr stopped the bleeding for Denver and made it 5-1 at the end of one quarter.
Yet, the Outlaws were no strangers to 1-5 starts as they had proven they could come back when they erased the same deficit against the Boston Cannons. They started the second quarter off with a deep rip from Zach Currier to make it 5-2.
Yet, the Bayhawks kept rolling and went on a 3-1 run that left the Outlaws with only a John Grant Jr. goal to rally around as they headed into halftime trailing 8-3.
The third quarter was all Denver as the defense, lead by all-star goaltender Dillon Ward, shutout Chesapeake’s offense. Max Adler (11 for 22 faceoffs) dominated at the faceoff X and gave the Outlaws opportunities to put away two goals to make it 8-5 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Outlaws retained the momentum, putting three goals away early in the fourth quarter including a ridiculous wraparound goal from John Grant Jr. (1 goal, 2 assists) and hat trick goal from Ryan Lee (3 goals) to give Denver a 9-8 lead with 7:51 to play.
It would take five minutes of scoreless lacrosse before the Bayhawks finally tied it up on a Steele Stanwick crease dive that ended with a late hit and another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on Denver with 2:15 left to play.
Despite being two men down on defense, the Outlaws held the Bayhawks scoreless and forced a turnover with Eli Gobrecht scooping up the groundball for a mere three seconds before Chesapeake regained possession. Outlaws coach Tony Seaman attempted to call a timeout during this time, but was not awarded the timeout much to Denver’s dismay.
After some quick passing, Chesapeake found rookie Andrew Kew who buried a time and room shot to give the Bayhawks the lead. The Outlaws began to unravel as both Coach Seaman and Zach Currier gave the officials an earful, resulting in the latter’s ejection.
The Bayhawks would run out the clock and claim their franchise’s sixth title, the most in MLL history, with Steele Stanwick (2 goals, 1 assist) being named player of the game.
Chesapeake Bayhawks 10, Denver Outlaws 9
Listen to Pro Lacrosse Talk’s interview with Steele Stanwick: