BOSTON, Mass.--The 2007 Major League Lacrosse NB Zip Championship Weekend is set to kick off on Saturday, August 25 in Rochester, N.Y. The?No. 1?seed Philadelphia Barrage will take on the?No. 4?Denver Outlaws at 2:00 p.m., and the?No. 2?Los Angeles Riptide play the?No. 3?Rochester Rattlers at 5:00 p.m. The two semifinal winners will meet on Sunday, August 26 in the NB Zip MLL Championship Game at 1:00 p.m. on ESPN2 HD.
Defending MLL Champion Philadelphia (9-3) heads into the playoffs as the number one overall seed. Despite the same record as Rochester, they earned the Eastern Conference title and top seed due to a better conference record. Ryan Boyle led the Barrage on offense, finishing third in the MLL for points with 58 (26g, 1 was a two-point goal, 31a). Goaltender Brian Dougherty had a tremendous season between the pipes, finishing with an 11.8 GAA, fifth in league history. Dougherty has 48 wins in his MLL career, making him the career leader.
This marks the first time in franchise history that the Los Angeles Riptide (9-3) has qualified for the playoffs. The second-year franchise was led by Mickey Jarboe in goal and Spencer Ford at attack. Jarboe had a tremendous 11.1 goals against average for the season, the lowest mark in MLL history. Ford also broke a record of his own; his 47 assists shattered the previous MLL single season record of 40.
The Rochester Rattlers (9-3) head into the playoffs having won nine of their last ten games. The team had a monster year, scoring 208 goals (fifth in league history for a single season), and allowing only 152 (tenth). Attackman John Grant Jr. had a record-breaking year on a personal level, setting a new mark for points in a single season with 71; his 44 goals are also tied for fourth all time. On June 16, he tied the league record for points in a game with 14. Brodie Merrill led the way on defense, scooping up 101 groundballs, tied for third all time. Rookie Alex Smith's 190 faceoff wins are ninth all-time, despite missing the first two games.
The final playoff spot is held by the Denver Outlaws (7-5), who have made the postseason in each of their first two years of existence. After suffering through a difficult mid-season slump, they turned it around to make a late playoff push. Brendan Mundorf finished tied for second in the league with goals (36). He had help from Drew Westervelt, who had a solid rookie campaign, finishing with 34 points (20g, 14a).
Tickets for Championship Weekend can be purchased by phone at (585) 454-5425, on the web at www.rochesterrattlers.com/tickets/mll/ or the day of the game at the PAETEC Park box office. Tickets for the whole weekend can be purchased for $30 or individually at $20 per day.
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