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Charlotte Hounds’ Mike Chanenchuk exceeds own expectations in team debut

By Bill Kiser
Correspondent
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Mike Chanenchuk joined the Charlotte Hounds’ lineup a few weeks after wrapping up his senior season with Maryland, which advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I lacrosse tournament.

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  • Hounds Gameday

    Florida Launch (4-2) at Charlotte Hounds (2-4)

    When/where: 7 p.m., Memorial Stadium

    Of note: The Hounds wrap up a two-game homestand with their second game against the Launch this season. … Charlotte lost to Florida – the former Hamilton (Canada) Nationals franchise – 11-8 on May 3 in Boca Raton, Fla. … Both teams enter Saturday’s game coming off wins – the Hounds stunned previously-undefeated Denver 18-15 last week, ending the Outlaws’ Major League Lacrosse-record 25-game regular-season winning streak, while the Launch beat the New York Lizards 11-8. … Florida is tied with Rochester (N.Y.) for second in the MLL standings, one game behind Denver, while Charlotte is tied with the Ohio Machine, three games back. … The Hounds will have rookie defender Henry Lobb (Duke) back in the lineup this week, and will likely have him with the close-in defensive unit of MLL All-Star Game pick Brett Schmidt and rookie Michael Ehrhardt (Maryland). … Charlotte also made two roster moves, cutting attacker Matt White and signing midfielder Matt Sawyer – the younger brother of Hounds attacker Mike Sawyer – to the practice squad. … Hounds All-MLL attacker Matt Danowski is two scores from his 150th career MLL goal.

    Bill Kiser



Mike Chanenchuk didn’t know what to expect last week from his Major League Lacrosse debut with the Charlotte Hounds.

Yet Chanenchuk exceeded his own expectations, scoring twice in the first half of the Hounds’ 18-15 win over the previously-undefeated Denver Outlaws.

Charlotte (2-4) will try to ride that momentum into Saturday’s game against the Florida Launch (4-2) at Memorial Stadium, with a shot at the team’s first back-to-back wins since the final weeks of the 2013 season.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect coming down here,” said Chanenchuk, a midfielder taken by the Hounds in the second round of the 2014 draft. “I was just going to see how I did, but I was able to be pretty successful.

“(The win over the Outlaws) was a pretty big confidence boost there, not just for me but for all the guys on the team.”

Chanenchuk joined Charlotte’s lineup a few weeks after wrapping up his senior season with Maryland, which advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I tournament.

Yet the three-time All-American – twice with the Terrapinsand once with Princeton, where he also earned the Ivy League’s freshman of the year award in 2010 – quickly picked up on the nuances of the MLL game.

Against the Outlaws, Chanenchuk – part of Charlotte’s second offensive line – scored his first goal just 96 seconds into the first quarter, rifling a shot from just inside the 2-point arc past Denver goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano.

Chanenchuk’s second goal came in much the same manner, whistling another long shot into the upper-right corner of the net with 2 minutes, 3 seconds left in the second quarter after catching the Outlaws’ defense out of position on Jake Tripucka’s cross-field pass.

“He’s been that kind of dynamic shooter,” in college, said Hounds coach Mike Cerino. “(Chanenchuk) adds another element to our offense, by stretching the defense a little bit. He’ll have his growing pains in the league, but he’s a complete midfielder who doesn’t have to come off the field.”

Chanenchuk is expected to be a key component from this year’s rookie class for Charlotte, which rode the play of its 2013 rookies over the second half of the season to the MLL playoffs.

“Obviously, those guys were very good,” Chanenchuk said. “They were able to make a run last year with those younger guys. We’re just coming in trying to follow the lead of the veteran players – Matt Danowski, (Adam) Ghitelman, guys like that – who are trying to show us the way.

“If we can come in and do our part, hopefully we can be just as successful down the road.”

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