BOCA RATON, FLORIDA– The Florida Launch concluded its three-game home stand on Friday, July 3 with a 19-9 rout of the Charlotte Hounds. The Launch has now won two-straight and ends with home stand with a 2-1 record to improve to 3-8, jumping over the Hounds in the standings who also have a 3-8 mark.
The 10-point victory is the largest margin for the Launch in team history; Lyle Thompson also made history with a team-record seven goals with an assist for a career-high eight points. Kieran McArdle, Casey Powell and Connor Buczek all provided four points while Steven Brooks had three goals. Austin Kaut, making his first Launch start, earned the victory saving 18 shots on a 67 percent save percentage.
Charlotte scored the opening goal of the contest off an unassisted shot from Mike Chanenchuk, not even two minutes later Brooks knotted the score 1-1 with an unassisted goal of his own. After 10 minutes of physical, scoreless action, L. Thompson found C. Powell with: 54 seconds left in the frame to give the Launch its first lead of the night followed quickly by another Brooks goal to end the first quarter with a 3-1 advantage.
The Launch continued the momentum from the final minute of the previous quarter as Kieran McArdle scored his first goal of the night to extend the lead to three. Shortly after, former Launch player Kevin Cunningham found Chanenchuk for his second goal of the night, cutting the deficit to two at 4-2. L. Thompson put the home side back up three with an unassisted goal. The Hounds brought their deficit back to two off a Terry Kimener goal score, making it a one point game off a power play goal from Chanenchuk with 7:50 left in the half. Looking to avoid a tied ballgame, L. Thompson scored his second unassisted goal of the game to put the Launch back up two and then scored another goal following the face-off win from Christopher Mattes to recreate the three-point advantage with 2:41 left in the half. The final score before the intermission came from McArdle, getting the feed from Powell following the slashing foul from Charlotte for the power play goal and making it an 8-4 contest.
With its biggest deficit of the night heading into halftime, Charlotte scored the opening goal of the second half two minutes in off an unassisted goal from Mike Sawyer, with Jake Tripucka scoring as well to cut the Launch’s lead back to two with 9:40 left in the quarter. The Launch responded to the two-straight goals with a 5-0 run as Brooks scored the first score followed by back-to-back power play goals by L. Thompson to put Florida up 11-6, capped off by reigning Rookie of the Week Connor Buczek’s third two-point goal of the season. The final score of the quarter came from the Hounds as Chanenchuk scored off a pass from Sawyer with one minute left in the stanza.
The Launch wasted no time in the final quarter, as Powell got a pass from PT Ricci 14 seconds into the quarter followed by Roman Lao-Gosney’s first goal of the night to put the home side up 15-7. McArdle joined the hat trick party in the third minute of the final frame, but his celebration was short-lived as Sankey scored for the Hounds 23 seconds later. L. Thompson continued to show his offensive prowess with his two more goals before the end of regulation, shortly followed by his brother Miles Thompson who put the Launch up 11 at 19-8. The final score of the game came from Wil Haus of Charlotte with 1:50 left to play as lighting in the area stopped action immediately after.
The Launch and Hounds will play each other again on July 11 in Charlotte followed by a trip out West to Denver to face-off with the Outlaws on Sunday, July 19. But don’t miss the Launch closing out its 2015 season at home on Saturday, July 25, during Fan Appreciation Night! Click here to purchase tickets or call at (561) 923-9067.
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