By Jackie Loson | 7/19/13 10:30 AM
The Rochester Rattlers will host the Denver Outlaws in their last Sahlen's Stadium matchup of the season this Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m. (ET). Denver will look to continue their record setting best start in MLL history, as Rochester will aim to steal the thunder.
This weekend’s contest marks the eighth all-time meeting between the two programs, with Rochester owning a 4-3 advantage. Denver and Rochester last met two months ago, when Denver dismantled the Rattlers 20-7. Outlaws attackmen Chris Bocklet, Jeremy Boltus, and Brendan Mundorf paced the way with eight, seven, and six points respectively.
The Denver Outlaws have had little trouble piecing the parts together this season. Jesse Schwartzman is producing peak performances week in and week out, leading the League in save percentage and goals-against average thus far. Anthony Kelly is boasting the best numbers of his career at the X, Lee Zink leads a swarming defense, and the offense is too potent to name just one player. The Outlaws have clinched their trip to Championship Weekend, presented by Smartlink, on August 24 and 25, and will spend the next few weeks fighting for the top seed.
Denver hits the road for the first time in four weeks, last traveling to face the Chesapeake Bayhawks on June 15. Denver's road games this season have been the closest matchups of the year for the Outlaws, seeing two 4-point games, and two 5-point games. The team is averaging 3.7 less goals for, and giving up 1.8 more goals against while away from Sports Authority Field. Denver is still dominant on the road, but if Rochester can pull it off, their best chance of a win will be away from Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The Rattlers enter the contest 4-6, and need the win to stay within playoff contention. Rochester has lost three of their past four games, most recently to the Hamilton Nationals on July 7. In that outing, Rochester produced a season-low six goal output, where offensive leader Ned Crotty was held to a single shot. The offense needs to come together, as dynamic midfielder Jordan MacIntosh has been held pointless in three of the past four games, and team captain Kevin Leveille is questionable after suffering an injury in their most recent game. Goaltender John Galloway has been the rock, consistently anchoring this team’s defense. He currently posts a 11.92 goals-against average, as well as a .55 save percentage.
Tune into CBS Sports Network to see these teams in action this Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m. (ET).