The Nationals opened their sophomore season in in Hamilton on the road in Denver but came away on the losing end. The Outlaws defeated the Nationals 15-6.
Hamilton started solid and finished the game strong, but couldn’t hold on in the second and third quarters. Denver held Hamilton’s offence at bay for more than 32 minutes. During that scoreless drought for Hamilton the Outlaws scored ten straight goals, one of which worth two points. While the first quarter ended with the Outlaws up 4-2 the Colorado team extended that lead to 14-2 by the time the whistle sounded to end the third quarter.
The Nationals had a much stronger final quarter. The Nats out-scored the Outlaws 4-1 in the fourth. Tom Compitello (2), Dan Deckelbaum (2), Brett Bucktooth and Jeff Zywicki all scored goals for Hamilton.
Though Hamilton lost their season opener the team went through a similar rough patch during the start of the 2011 season as well. Last year the Nationals lost three of their first four games but went on to then finish the season winning six of their final eight games.
Part of the growing pains is due to the fact that some of the players drafted in the collegiate draft are still playing for their respective schools.
“Once we got our draftees we were on our way,” Stu Brown, interim coach for the Nationals, stated in an interview at the game. “We’re going to give some young guys an opportunity tonight and try to get back in it.”
The Nationals play next Saturday at 7pm in Boston versus the Cannons. The game will be a rematch of the 2011 MLL Championship game. The Nationals return to Ron Joyce Stadium in Hamilton on Friday May 18th at 11am to host the Chesapeake Bayhawks.