By Natalie Johnson | 5/31/14 11:00 AM
Florida Launch at Rochester Rattlers
Sunday, June 1 – 1:00 PM EST – Sahlen’s Stadium
Syndicated: Altitude, MSG+, Prime Ticket
After a week off, the Rochester Rattlers (2-2) are looking to move above .500 on the season, but the Florida Launch (3-1) will be coming into town on a hot streak, searching for their second road win of 2014.
Last Time Out
Florida: Two weeks ago, the Launch held a commanding 13-6 lead over Chesapeake entering the fourth quarter. However, they nearly squandered that lead, as they allowed the Bayhawks to come storming back to within two goals. Luckily for Florida, Mario Ventiquattro’s goal in the last minute squashed any final momentum the Bayhawks might have had, and the Launch’s early goals proved to be enough to hold on for the 15-12 victory.
Rochester: The Rattlers were faced with the difficult task of traveling to Denver and taking on the Outlaws, and they were held to single digit goals, ultimately falling 14-8. Steven Boyle and Sam Bradman each scored twice, but it wasn’t enough, as Rochester gave up six goals in the final quarter and was forced to take their second loss of the season. Although he didn’t get the win, John Galloway recorded 13 saves in the game.
Team Chemistry: The Launch’s offensive chemistry seems to improve each week, and that was evident watching Casey Powell and Kieran McArdle in Florida’s last game. The two players connected for two goals, and combined for a total of 13 points. However, Powell and McArdle aren’t the only offensive weapons; six other Florida players recorded at least one goal last week. This team is really starting to come together, and could be a dangerous group if they continue to improve.
New Names: Both Florida and Rochester have some impressive rookies who are already making their names known around the league. Rattlers D John LoCascio was named Cascade Rookie of the Week after his first professional game in Week 3. Last week, Florida’s McArdle took that title, recording six points in just his second game. Launch rookies Chris LaPierre and Joe Meurer are also making an impact in their first season, and the Rattlers have several draftees who could join the team and make a huge difference in the coming weeks.
Power Plays: Last week, Florida committed 6 penalties, which doubled their total for the season. However, even if the whistle is blown as frequently this week, it might not matter, as Rochester has only scored on the man-up advantage one time this season. On the other hand, the Rattlers have the second-best penalty killing percentage, allowing just two goals when penalized this season.
Players to Watch
Florida: Garrett Thul continues to be a scoring threat for the Launch, and will be coming into this matchup with momentum after recording a hat trick and an assist in Florida’s last game.
Rochester: Joel White is the Rattlers’ best ground ball collector, with 21 on the year. He could play a huge role in the possession game, as Florida has struggled at times with getting GBs.
Florida: Casey Powell leads the Launch with 11 goals and 12 assists, which gives him a league-best 23 points. Chris Mattes has picked up a team-leading 21 ground balls. Brett Queener has 61 saves and a .616 save percentage, which is also the best among all MLL goalies with at least 60 minutes in the net.
Rochester: Stephen Boyle has recorded a team-best 7 goals this season, and Justin Turri leads the Rattlers with 11 points. John Ortolani is the team’s best face off man, with 46 wins at the X. John Galloway has been in the net for every minute of the 2014 season, and has 53 saves this year.
2013 Season Series:
This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Rochester has not lost a game at home since July 20, 2013.
Florida’s Adam Fullerton, Jordan Hall, Casey Powell, and Brett Queener were all members of the 2008 Rochester team that won the Steinfeld Cup.
If you’re going to Sahlen’s Stadium to cheer on the lizards, make sure to grab this awesome shirt from the MLL Shop! It comes in adult and youth sizes, so it’s perfect for Rattlers fans of any age. Get yours here or by clicking the image to the right.