July 18, 2009

MLL: Nats Snap Four-Game Losing Streak

Box Score: Toronto 19, Long Island 9

from press release

The Toronto Nationals snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday with a 19-9 win over the Long Island Lizards at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. Jeff Zywicki was named Bud Light MVP after posting three goals and three assist on the night.

Long Island's Keith Cromwell scored the first point of the night three minutes into the game, but Cromwell's shot was quickly answered with a goal from Toronto's Geoff Snider. The Nationals immediately followed up with their second point of the game with an unassisted goal from Delby Powless. Toronto led Long Island 1-2 after the first quarter.

The second quarter kicked off with a goal from Toronto attacker Merrick Thomson, who leads the league in goals with 35. The Nationals continued their dominance with an unassisted goal from midfielder Jordan Hall. Long Island's Stephen Peyser and Matt Zash helped the Lizards pick up the pace midway through the second quarter scoring one point each.

Toronto quickly retaliated with four more unassisted goals from Jordan Levine, Jeff Zywicki, Brodie Merrill and Joe Walters making the score 8-3 at the 3:10 mark. Lizards veteran Tim Goettelmann responded with a powerful goal with 1:23 left on the clock, but Thomson scored once more before time ran out, securing a 9-4 Toronto lead to end the first half.

The Nationals scored two goals in the opening minute of the second half from Gavin Prout and Snider, followed up with two more goals from Toronto defenseman Nick O'Hara and Walters. Long Island's Cromwell scored once again in the third quarter, this time posting an exciting two-point shot. Zywicki netted his second of the night past Lizards netminder Brian Dougherty, but Cromwell scored again off an assist from Stephen Berger to end the third quarter with Long Island trailing 14-7.

Hall kicked off scoring in the final quarter followed but Zash's second. Hall struck again with his third but his goal was answered by Goettelmann just before the 10:00 mark. That's where Long Island would stop, but Toronto continued their run with two from Walters and a single from Zywicki. Despite the record-breaking crowd and fourth quarter enthusiasm, the Lizards fell to the Nationals with a final score of 19-9.

Jeff Zywicki and Joe Walters led the charge for the Nationals with six points each from three goals and three assists, and four goals and two assists respectively. 

Doc Schneider started the game in Toronto's net saving 7-of-11 shots he faced. Brett Queener turned away eight of Long Island's 12 attempts and recorded the win for the Nationals. 

For Long Island, Keith Cromwell recorded four points from three goals, including a 2-point goal. Brian Dougherty played 52:35 in the Lizards net saving 12-of-30 attempts. Matt McMonagle played the last 7:25 for Long Island, stopping two of three Toronto shots.

It's a fight to Championship Weekend with the top four teams advancing to Annapolis, MD. With two games left in the regular season the Toronto Nationals, now 5-5, return home this Thursday, July 23 to take on the Boston Cannons; game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field. The Nationals final game is Saturday, August 8 at 7:00 p.m. at BMO Field against first-place rivals the Denver Outlaws.  

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