MLL Standouts: Week Five

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(Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Blaze)                                                                                                                     

This past weekend saw a lot of action with four games in all, and it all started on Thursday night as the Denver Outlaws took down the Dallas Rattlers, leaving Dallas still searching for a win. 

We also saw the Atlanta Blaze give the Boston Cannons their first loss while the New York Lizards beat the Dallas Rattlers on Saturday to secure their first win of the season. Due to so much action this weekend there were a lot of great performances from teams and players alike. 

Here are some of those guys that really did impress during week five of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

This may have been crazy to think a few months ago, but John Grant Jr. put on an absolute clinic on Saturday night, defying father time and turning back the clock as usual. 

The 44-year old helped Denver secure a dominating 15-9 win over Dallas on Saturday as he scored 4 goals. Grant’s performance was phenomenal and arguabey one of the best so far this season. He put his creativity on display while getting it done as a goal scorer and dishing out crafty passes all over the field as well. Grant was just on another level, giving Denver a major boost in the win. 

In the first half he scored on a one-handed between the legs shot. That shot was later seen on the Sports Center Top 10 that night. 

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Despite coming up short, Dallas Rattlers LSM Eli Salama proved his worth on Saturday night against New York. He was very disruptive against the New York defense and really aided the Dallas transition offense as well. 

Salama caused 3 turnovers while also scooping up 4 ground balls. He was simply all over the field and really made his presence know. The LSM really gave Dallas an extra boost that their defense has been looking for all season. 

In addition to his defensive efforts, Salama also found himself in the scoring column after letting a two-pointer fly early in the third quarter.

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

The Atlanta Blaze handed the Chesapeake Bayhawks their first loss of the season on Saturday night, ruining their home-opener. A big part of the Blaze’s win can be contributed to goalie Chris Madalon who stood on his head all night. 

Madalon ended the game with 19 saves off of 29 shots on goal. While his save numbers speaks for itself, Madalon’s performance effected the entire Blaze defense as they looked as goof as they have all year. Madalon really was the anchor of it all in cage, making a big difference in the game for sure. 

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Denver Outlaws attackman Chris Aslanian has been one of the most impressive rookies thus far, and he was back on his game over the weekend. The rookie was a catalyst of the Outlaws offense in their narrow win over Boston. 

The Hobart product ended the game with  4 points (3G,1A) to help give the Denver offense a big boost. Aslanian was getting it done from multiple spots on the field, showcasing his style of play and scoring ability once again. 

New York’s Offense Waking Up

One of the biggest storylines coming out of this week was that of the New York Lizards offense. While they have one of the best units, personnel wise, in the league that hasn’t translated to good performances or wins. Well, they finally got over the hump this week with their star-studded offense leading the way. 

New York finally found a way to get everybody touches and make it work. Dylan Molloy and Ryan Walsh each tallied hat tricks while Rob Pannell and Kevin Crowley each scored two goals. The Lizards were red hot and firing on all cylinders in their win against Dallas, zinging the ball around and really showing what they can do as a unit. 

Being 1-4 is never a good thing at this point in the season, but they still have a chance to turn things around and make a push for the playoffs. If the Lizards continue this offensive trend it will be hard for any defense to stop them as they can keep their foot on the gas all game. 

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