By Samantha Blair | 8/21/14 5:00 PM
Denver Outlaws vs. Rochester Rattlers
Saturday, August 23 – 7:00 PM ET
Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA
Watch: CBS Sports Network
The Outlaws and the Rattlers will face each other in the final competition of the season to see who will take home the Steinfeld Trophy at the 2014 MLL Championship.
Last Time Out:
In a back and forth game, the Outlaws managed to edge the New York Lizards out of the playoffs with a 14-13 win in the semifinals in Denver last weekend. The Ohio Machine was also ousted as the Rattlers made an incredible comeback to defeat the Machine 15-11 in Rochester.
Flash Back: Since both the Outlaws and the Rattlers have been around, the teams have met a total of ten times between the regular season and playoffs. If you’re looking to their competitive history for a peak into the future, their record will only add to the anticipation. The teams are 5-5 in all competitions when it comes to victories playing each other. While the teams have an even overall record, fans who remember the championship game of 2008 know that Denver has some redeeming to do. The last time the two teams saw each other in the final battle of the season, the Rattlers defeated Denver in a 16-6 blowout. Will Denver fail again, or will the tables turn on Rochester?
Break The Curse: It is no surprise that the Outlaws have found themselves in the playoffs this year. They have made it to the post season each of the nine years the team has been in the league. Despite four semi-final and four final game appearances, the Outlaws have never won a championship. Maybe this will be their year.
The Magic Touch: Denver’s coach B.J. O’Hara has a chance to become the only MLL head coach to win championships with two separate teams. O’Hara won his first season title coaching the Rattlers when they defeated the Outlaws in 2008. If Denver can capture the Steinfeld Trophy this weekend, perhaps it is O’Hara who has the magic touch.
Players to Watch
Rochester: Kevin Leveille is obviously in playoff mode. He was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game after an impressive six-goal performance in the semifinal match against Ohio. Three of his goals came in the second half, helping the Rattlers make an impressive comeback, and igniting the team’s six-goal streak at the end of the game. It will be that kind of persistence and on-point performance that Rochester will need in this weekend’s match.
Denver: Jeremy Sieverts may not always score the most points, but his timing is one of his greatest assets. In last weekend’s game against New York, Denver was looking for redemption after losing to the Lizards the previous week. With the pressure of playoffs and reputations on the line, Sieverts was still able to give the Outlaws the first goal of the semifinal game. Then, as it came down to the wire, he scored the game-winning goal in the final two minutes, giving Denver another chance at the Championship they are craving.
Playoff Statistical Leaders
In terms of statistics from the semifinals, Rochester has the leg up. Kevin Leveille is in the lead with six goals, Joel White has 12 ground balls, and from the remaining two teams, John Ortolani has the best faceoff record (16-29). Denver’s John Grant Jr. is in the lead for overall points (7).
2014 Season Series
In the two games Denver and Rochester played each other during the regular season, the teams both won their home games. When the Rattlers played in Denver, they lost 8-14. Then, when the Outlaws traveled to Rochester, they were defeated 19-14.
-Denver has never won a Championship, but has made it to the post season every year.
-The only Championship Rochester won was against Denver in 2008, and they won 16-6.
- The Rattlers and the Outlaws are tied 5-5 if you count every time the teams have ever played each other.
Heading to the Game?