The 2014 MLL All-Star Game was a matchup of stars that remained tightly contested until the final seconds, but it was Coca-Cola All-Star Game MVP Rob Pannell who scored the game-winning goal, with just seven seconds to spare in the game, to give Team USA the 10-9 victory over Team MLL.
The first quarter had much of what fans expected from such a high-caliber matchup. Although Team MLL initially had trouble maintaining possession, a goal by Team USA’s Kevin Leveille seemed to wake them up. After that goal, each possession featured quality offensive movement and athletic saves by both USA’s Jesse Schwartzman and MLL’s Jordan Burke. Justin Turri answered with a goal for Team MLL, but Leveille, the league’s all-time leading goal scorer, notched his second of the night on a pass from Pannell to put USA back in front. Just before the quarter expired, MLL’s Peter Baum scored to knot things up at 2-2.
The second quarter began with quick turnovers from each team, but it was Team USA who finally held onto the ball long enough to score, as Garrett Thul charged the net and snuck one past Burke. After MLL tied the game up once again when Joe Walters scored on a pass from former Hamilton Nationals teammate Kevin Crowley, USA finally gave themselves some breathing room with two consecutive goals from Dave Lawson and Kevin Buchanan.
Team MLL refused to let the game get away from them, as Matt Danowski scored on a dive around the net to bring the team back within one. However, it was Burke who deserved much of the praise in the final moments of the second quarter, making multiple outstanding saves to preserve the score at 5-4 entering halftime.