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The New York Lizards Win 2015 MLL Championship

March 18, 2016
The 2015 MLL Championship exceeded expectations as the crowd of 8,764 at Fifth Bank Stadium saw the New York Lizards bring home their first title since 2003. Top seeded New York Lizards (10-4) took on the Rochester Rattlers (8-6). The Lizards had beaten the Rattlers twice in the regular season but both New York teams knew that they only game that mattered was this one.

Rattlers struck first when Kyle Denoff  found the back of the goal and was followed quickly by Jordan Wolf for Rochester. The Lizards remained scoreless for the beginning of the first quarter until Ned Crotty scores with 8 minutes left in the first quarter. Rochester went on a run when Randy Staats, Mark Mattews and John Ranagan each put one past Lizards goalie, Drew Adams, making it 6-2, Rochester at the end of the first quarter.

Greg Gurenlian won the faceoff to start the second quarter and Matt Gibson scored for the Lizards off a rebound.  Dave Lawson beat Adams for another Rochester goal making it 7-3, Rochester. The Lizards quickly closed the gap with 3 goals in a row by Tommy Palesek, JoJo Marasco and Rob Pannell with 2 making it a tie game at 7. Rochester ended the Lizards scoring streak when Jack Near scored his first goal of the night making it 8-7, Rochester to end the half.

Greg Gurenlian kickstarted the LIzards, winning the opening faceoff and going straight to goal. Mark Matthews responded with two goals for Rochester giving him a hat-trick on  the   night.  Kyle Denhoff scored his second of the night and extended the Rochester lead to 3. Matt Gibson ended the 3 rd quarter with a goal for the Lizards making it a tie game at 11.

Jordan Wolf started off the fourth quarter with his second goal of the night, giving Rochester the lead. The Lizards responded with a goal from Rob Pannell, giving him a hat-trick tonight.  The Lizards and Rattlers are going back and forth with another goal by Rob Pannell.  The Lizards took their first lead of the night, 11:08 left in the game with a goal by Mike Stone making it 13-12. Rochester goalie, John Galloway made a big save for Rochester  but the Lizards got it back when Tommy Palesak and Paul Rabil, made it a 3 goal lead.  The New York Lizards held the ball for the last minute of play and celebrated the last seconds of play with a final score of 15-12. Paul Rabil earned the "Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player" honor for his performance.