The New York Lizards (3-4) earned their third win of the season by defeating the Hamilton Nationals (5-2) 12-10 in a rainy game at Icahn Stadium, on Randall’s Island in New York City, Thursday night.
The Lizards were led by the four-goal effort of Player of the Game Tommy Palasek and rookie Rob Pannell, who had two goals and three assists.
New York took the lead immediately with an unassisted goal from Max Seibald just 33 seconds into the match. Stephen Peyser scored less than a minute later to give the Lizards a two goal advantage. The Nationals responded with goals from Kevin Crowley, Cody Jamieson, and Kevin Cunningham. New York tied it up with a goal from David Earl before a nifty behind-the-back goal from Crowley put the Nationals up 4-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lizards shut out Hamilton in the second quarter with five unanswered goals from five different scorers. Pannell notched his first goal of the night two minutes in, while defenseman Michael Skudin earned his first career goal, putting New York up by one. Goals from Kevin Unterstein, defenseman CJ Costabile and Palasek closed out the half with the Lizards leading 8-4.
The game saw no advantage change in the third quarter. Face off specialist Mike Poppleton scored his first professional goal 10 seconds into the period on a man-up opportunity for the Nationals, ending the Hamilton scoring drought. Palasek answered for the Lizards before Crowley hit back-to-back goals to bring Hamilton within two. The Lizards closed the quarter back up by four with Palasek’s final goal of the evening.
Hamilton fought back in the fourth quarter with Stephen Keogh recording two goals and Crowley scoring his fifth of the night. A bullet from Pannell on an assist from Greg Gurenlian sealed the Nationals’ fate and earned the home team a 12-10 victory.
The Lizards will try to keep the streak alive as they travel to Boston to face the Cannons on Friday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. The Nationals hope to return to their winning ways in a home match against the Rochester Rattlers in Boca Raton, Fla., June 22 at 7 p.m.
Crowley currently leads the league in points (32) and goals (23), extending his franchise record for points in consecutive games to 22.
Gurenlian was dominant at the faceoff X, winning 17 of 26 and continues to lead the league for faceoff win percentage with .650.
Rookie defenseman Jason Noble picked up two ground balls in his MLL debut for the Nationals.
Drew Adams had 12 saves for the Lizards in the win.
Rookie goalie Dillon Ward, who Hamilton acquired this week, made 11 stops in his MLL debut.