By William Griffin | 7/5/13 12:10 AM
The 31 thousand fans in attendance for the New York at Denver 4th of July game were in for a treat. There were two sets of fireworks on display at the packed Sports Authority Field at Mile High this Independence Day—the traditional 4th of July fire-crackers and the Outlaw’s highlight-reel of an offense, an offense that saw goals from eight different scorers. The Outlaws, who move to a league best 10-0, defeated the visiting 3-7 New York Lizards, by a score of 16-7.
Denver’s 10-0 start is the best in Major League Lacrosse history. Last week, they tied the ’05 Baltimore Bayhawks for the best record to start a season, 9-0. Those Bayhawks didn’t remain undefeated, but ultimately won when it mattered, eventually hoisting the coveted Steinfeld Trophy. This wasn’t the only record the Outlaws set tonight—the 31,019 spirited fans at tonight’s contest broke the record for the most ever at a professional lacrosse game.
After the whistle blew for the opening face-off, the Lizards wasted no time scoring, getting two quick goals from Stephen Peyser and Greg Gurenlian in the first 90 seconds of the contest, and jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Denver’s Drew Snider responded though, with an unassisted goal 30 seconds later. New York rattled off two more goals from college teammates Rob Pannell and Stephen Mock—Mock marking his MLL debut with his first professional goal—extending their lead to 4-1. Denver wouldn’t let the quarter end while trailing though, as Eric Law scored to cut the deficit to two and then with nine seconds left in the quarter attackman Jeremy Sieverts ripped a two-point goal from what seemed like a different zip code, to knot the game up at four goals a piece heading into quarter number two.
Sieverts’ two-point bomb from the first quarter gave the momentum to the Outlaws heading into the second quarter and they never looked back. Denver defenseman Matt Bocklet scored an unassisted goal, his first goal of the season, to give the Outlaws their first outright lead, 5-4. Snider put another past Lizards’ goaltender Drew Adams off an assist from Zach Greer and Chris Bocklet beat Adams again, off a Law feed, to give the Outlaws a 7-4 lead heading into halftime. Denver held New York scoreless in the quarter and went into the locker room on a 5 goal (6 point) unanswered run.
The Outlaws stretched that five goal run to seven (eight points) with two goals from Brendan Mundorf to open the third quarter play. While Mock’s goal off a Tommy Palasek assist ended the run, the Outlaws didn’t slow down, scoring on goals by Justin Pennington and Bocklet—assisted by goaltender Jesse Schwartzman—to head into the final quarter of play with a commanding 11-5 lead.
The momentum never swung back in the Lizard’s favor; Denver continued to score goal after goal on offense and Schwartzman and the Denver “D” continued to stuff the New York offense. Chris Bocklet put two more past Adams and Snider added another, completing hat tricks for both early in the fourth, while extending the Outlaws’ lead to 14-5. Law added another for Denver before New York’s Pannell scored two more, against backup goalie Charlie Cipriano. Denver’s Will Mangan finished off the scoring with an unassisted goal, making the final score 16-7 with the Outlaws sitting on top.
New York’s Adams and Denver’s Schwartzman were both solid in goal. Adams was peppered with shot after shot—just like every other goalie who has faced the Outlaws this year—but was able to hold Denver’s offense to their fewest first half goals, recording 13 saves on 28 shots. Schwartzman, continuing his season top form, was a brick wall between the pipes, recording 12 saves on 17 shots on goal—proving why he’s worthy of his 6th All-Star Game selection and tonight’s MVP Award. Denver’s backup goalie, Cipriano, played the final six and a half minutes, recording one save and allowing two goals on 3 shots.
Both teams are off next weekend for the All-Star Break. Players from both teams will be present in Charlotte for the 2013 All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill. Bocklet, Greer, Anthony Kelly, Schwartzman, Sieverts, Snider and Lee Zink will represent the Outlaws while the Lizards will be represented by Adams, Gurenlian, Brian Karalunas, Palasek and the only rookie to make the squad— Pannell. Catch the game live on ESPN2 on July 13 at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
These two teams will meet again in the second to last week of the season, on August 4th at 5 p.m. (ET) at Shuart Stadium in New York. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.