July 10, 2013

Accuracy Contest to Join Speed/Style Shows at MLL Skills Competition

from LaxMagazine.com Staff Reports

Hamilton's Brett Queener won last year's MLL Freestyle Competition with this karate-kick finish. Can he win a third?
© Ron Modra 

Will Hamilton's Brett Queener have what it takes to repeat as MLL Freestyle Competition champion? We'll find out on Saturday, as he is one of four to be selected for this year's edition of the annual exhibition, which takes place at halfitme of the All-Star game in Charlotte.

The Freestyle work will be joined as usual by the fastest-shot competition, but those will have a third act this weekend, as the league has added a long-distance accuracy event for the first time. 

Queener is a two-time winner in his event, having taken honors both last year with a routine that included some dancing and stick twirling before a karate kick finish to earn the title (though we feel that Stephen Berger may have been robbed). In 2009, he won the event with a combination thriller-dance and back-breaker goal.

This time, he faces 2010 event winner Kevin Buchanan, along with newcomers Mike Stone (Boston) and Rob Pannell (New York).

In the fastest shot competition, two-time reigning champ Kyle Hartzell will take on challengers Steven Brooks (Chesapeake) and Jeremy Sieverts (Denver) as well as first-timer Mike Manley (Rochester).

The first-ever accuracy contest consists of the players attempting to score from the opposite end of the field. MLL leading goal-scorer at the break Chris Bocklet (Denver) will be taking on Brodie Merrill (Hamilton), Ryan Flanagan (Charlotte) and Kip Turner (Chesapeake). It'll be interesting to see how this one pans out, since all but Bocklet are from the defensive end of the field, where long, cross-field passes are a big part of the game, compared to the shorter, more zipped passes on the offensive end.

All of the game action as well as the skills competition will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Saturday night, with face-off scheduled for 7 p.m.


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