Radio: MLL Radio
The Big Picture: The Rochester Rattlers host the Denver Outlaws on Saturday, August 4th at 7 p.m. ET. Last week the Rattlers (7-5), who are still in the playoff hunt, pulled off a win over the Ohio Machine, 14-13. The Outlaws (9-2) were able to defeat the Nationals 21-12 to tie the Chesapeake Bayhawks for 1st in the league. With only two games remaining, the Outlaws must win these games to have hopes of playing at Championship Weekend in Boston.
This is the second matchup between the Rochester Rattlers and Denver Outlaws. In the first game on June 16th, the Outlaws beat the Rattlers 16-12 in Denver, Colorado.
Denver Outlaws: This is a huge week for the Outlaws and their fans. They are tied in record but in the number two seed in the league behind the Chesapeake Bayhawks. To clinch a playoff spot, they need a win over the Rattles or a Boston loss. They have the ball in their court and they need to show up to play this week. Coach Jim Stagnitta needs to make sure his guys are ready to play a tough Rattlers team this week.Last week the Outlaws shared the ball by having seven of their players scoring at least one goal. They need to play as a team to make sure they secure the playoff spot on their terms. They have not lost a game since June 23rd against the Lizards so they have to make sure that streak stays alive.In the last four games, the Outlaws have scored either 17 or 21 goals. If Denver can repeat what they have been doing in the past few weeks, they should be able to win this game.
Players to Watch: Brendan Mundorf has been hot in the last three games. He has recorded 17 points which include eight goals and nine assists. He has been the heart of this powerful offense. Since Anthony Kelly was traded to the Outlaw three weeks ago, he has been dominating the Outlaw’s face-offs. In the last three games, he has a 58.76% winning percentage at the X by winning 56 face-offs. This move of teams was definitely good for his play. Finally, Denver Outlaw rookie Mark Matthews won Cascade MLL Rookie of the Week award. It was his third time winning the award this season. Last week he got four points with three goals and one assist.
Rochester Rattlers: The Rattlers pulled off a huge win against the Ohio Machine last week to keep them in the playoff hunt. It was a little scary for the Rattlers as they watched the Machine score 10 goals in the second half of the game. Coach Soudan needs to keep his team focused for this week’s game. This is the Rattlers last game against a team that is in the playoff hunt. It will be a test for them to see how they match up against a playoff team. The Rattles only lost by four goals the last time they faced Denver so this game is winnable. Rochester has won their past two games and can build on that momentum for this week’s game against the Outlaws.
Players to Watch: Midfielder Jordan MacIntosh has been great for the Rattlers. In the last six games, he has 16 goals and two assist and has been firing on all cylinders. He might have gone scoreless against Denver last time but was able to turn it on after that game. Both Ned Crotty and Matt Striebel are leading the team in points this season with 29 each. Crotty has 15 goals and 14 assists while Striebel has 13 goals, seven 2-pointers and nine assists. Finally, Joel White won his first MLL Defensive Player of the Week in his career after last week’s performance. He is leading the Rattlers with 49 ground balls in nine games this year. He has also scored four goals with six assists.