The Nationals used a record five man-up goals and career highs in assists and points from Crowley in the home loss. Crowley’s four goals also tied his career best. Joe Walters tied his single-season assist record of 20, which he set last season. He finished the night with three goals and two assists. Hamilton fell to 3-9 with the loss to the Outlaws, who improved to 9-3 and moved into a first-place tie with the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Jordan McBride led Denver with a career-high six goals and eight points. Jimmy Sieverts (3+1), Brendan Mundorf (2+3) and Mark Matthews also chipped in for the Denver offense. With the win, the Outlaws swept the season series against the Nationals this year.
Hamilton stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Outlaws 6-1 to get back into the contest. They used four man-up goals, three by Crowley, to cut the Denver lead to 16-11 in the fourth quarter. The record-setting man-up goal came at 2:50 as Crowley scored from David Earl (0+2).
The Nationals comeback, however, could not erase two impressive scoring stretches by Denver. The Outlaws used a 6-0 run at the end of the first quarter to erase a 2-1 deficit, and then strung together seven straight points over the second and third quarters to break open an 8-5 game. Denver also closed out the game with a 5-1 run after Hamilton rallied to get within five.
Denver showcased its potent offense in the opening quarter with six straight points to nullify a 2-1 Hamilton lead off goals from rookie Joe Resetarits. Sieverts led the way with three goals, including a two-pointer to give the Outlaws a 7-2 lead after one.
In the second, Mundorf answered an early man-up goal by Hamilton’s Stephen Keogh to give Denver an 8-3 lead. Crowley kept Hamilton close with a goal at 7:19 to cut the lead to 8-4, which was followed by Donny Moss’ tally at 12:11 and it was 8-5. Denver, however, replied with four points in 28 seconds to make it 12-5. The Bocklet family then got in on the action as Chris scored off a feed from Matt at 14:29 for a 13-5 Outlaws advantage.
In the third, Mundorf and McBride made it 15-5 before Walters finally ended the 7-0 Outlaws’ run at 6:46 to make it 15-6. Crowley then scored back-to-back goals to get the Nats to within 15-8. After a Denver man-up strike, Steven Waldeck scored from Brodie Merrill at 13:09 and it was 16-9.
Hamilton opened the fourth with some pressure and Walters scored 38 seconds in on the man-up and it was 16-10. Crowley then connected from Earl at 2:50 on the man-up to set the team man-up record at five. With the score 16-11, Denver responded with a flurry of goals that resulted in five of the game’s last six, and a 21-12 victory.
The Hamilton Nationals will host the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m., at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University.