The Denver Outlaws traveled to Rochester this weekend and beat the Rattlers by a score of 12-9 Saturday afternoon. The Outlaws stay undefeated, moving to 11-0 on the season, while the Rattlers fall to 4-7. With the win, Denver who had already clinched a playoff spot, now clinches no worse than the second seed; if Hamilton loses tonight, Denver will clinch the number one seed with still three weeks of regular season action to come.
Rochester’s rookie All-Star midfielder, John Ranagan, opened up the scoring with an unassisted goal just three and a half minutes into the contest, giving his Rattlers an early 1-0 lead. The Outlaws wasted no time responding though, with Brendan Mundorf assisting Jeremy Sieverts for a two-point goal, and Terry Kimener, Mundorf and Eric Law scoring goals of their own, giving them an early lead—a familiar feeling for this undefeated squad. Rochester’s Dave Lawson scored to close out the period with the Outlaws leading 5-2.
The Rattlers put up a stronger fight in quarter two, with Jordan MacIntoshish beating Jesse Schwartzman to pull the Rattlers within two. Like they always do, however, Denver responded with two quick foals from Zach Greer and Chris Bocklet to double their lead to four goals, 7-3. Rochester showed resilience though, ending the period with goals from Steven Boyle and Ned Crotty to head in to halftime trailing only by two.
The third quarter started with Denver on the power play thanks to a Will Koshansky cross check, and like they do almost 63 percent of the time, Denver converted with a goal from Bocklet, the MLL leader in both goals and power play goals. Denver goals from Justin Pennington and Justin Turri followed, extending the Outlaw lead to five, 10-5. Much like every other time the Outlaws started to pull away, the Rattlers found a way to hang with the MLL’s best team, getting goals from rookies Lawson and Ranagan, pulling them to within three through three quarters.
Rochester continued their run in the fourth with Lawson and Mike Manley netting two quick unassisted goals, bringing them within one—Denver’s Chris O’Dougherty found himself in the penalty box following the goal because of an illegal body check. Rochester had a real chance to tie it up as they went man-up following four straight goals, but failed to convert. That failed power play may have been the turning point, as after, Denver took the control of the game with goals from Mundorf and Kimener, earning them their 11th win of the season, 12-9.
Both goaltenders were solid between the pipes. Outlaws goalie Jesse Schwartzman made 11 saves on 20 shots, while Rochester goaltender, John Galloway, recorded 14 saves on 25 shots.
While the Rattlers drop to 4-7, there is still a legitimate chance they will make the playoffs. But, more importantly, today they showed that the future of this squad is bright. Their rookies can play with the best of them and the team as a whole held arguably the best ever MLL offense to their lowest output of the season. Rookies Dave Lawson and John Ranagan accounted for five goals, more than half the team’s output. As they continue to develop chemistry between themselves and the rest of the squad, and as the rest of this youthful team continues to adapt to the professional game, the Rattlers are only going to get better—a welcoming thought to any and all Rattler fans.
Next week the Outlaws return home to face the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a game that could likely end up being a preview of a playoff or Championship Game matchup. The game will be televised live at 2:00p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. Rochester will make the trip down interstate 90 to face the Lizards on Saturday night. The game will be live on CBS Sports Network at 6:30p.m. (ET).
· Denver extends the MLL record for the best star to a season to 11-0
· Rochester rookie Dave Lawson was the only player on either squad to record a hat trick
· With his two goals today, Chris Bocklet remains league leader in goals scored this season, and trails only Paul Rabil in points
· Denver’s seven first half goals tied their last game as the lowest first half output
· Outlaws’ goaltender Jesse Schwartzman leads the league in goals against average (GAA), allowing 9.26 a game, and is second in save percentage, saving .606 shots
· Rattlers’ goalie John Galloway is second in the league in total saves, with 142, and fourth in goals against average (GAA) allowing 11.82 a game.
· Denver’s offense continues to lead the league in almost every offensive statistical category, including goals, assists, and points.