By MLL Statistics and Information | 6/10/11 10:45 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Led by four goals and an assist from attackman John Grant, Jr., the Hamilton Nationals (1-2) broke away from a 7-7 half-time tie to earn their first win of the season, a 14-13 victory over the Rochester Rattlers (0-3) at Sahlen's Stadium on Friday evening.
Grant, who had been held to just three assists in the Nationals' first two games, scored three of his goals in the third quarter as Hamilton outscored the Rattlers by 6-1 in the period to build a 13-8 advantage the Nationals did not relinquish.
After midfielder Brett Bucktooth gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead just over two minutes into the first quarter, the Rattlers answered with back-to-back goals from attackman Ned Crotty and midfielder Greg Niewieroski to take a 2-1 advantage with 4:58 left in the period.
Following a goal by Bucktooth that tied the game at 2-2, the teams traded markers in the final three minutes of the first quarter to even the score at 3-3.
After the teams traded goals to open the second quarter, the Nationals took a 6-4 lead with 7:58 left in the period on back-to-back goals from defenseman Brodie Merrill and attackman Joe Walters.
The teams exchanged goals again before the Rattlers evened the score at 7-7 in the final three minutes of the first half on goals from Crotty and Niewieroski.
Just 55 seconds into the third quarter, Grant ended his seasonal scoring drought by scoring an unassisted goal past goalkeeper Joe Marra, giving Hamilton an 8-7 lead. Rookie Jeremy Thompson followed with his second goal of the game 24 seconds later to extend the Nationals' advantage to 9-7.
After Crotty scored his third goal of the game to trim the Rattlers' deficit to 9-8, the Nationals scored four straight goals over a seven-minute span, upping their lead to 13-8 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter. Grant scored two of his goals during the run.
Trailing by five points, the Rattlers opened the fourth quarter by scoring three consecutive goals, including a pair of Crotty strikes, to narrow the margin to 13-11 with four minutes to play. But, Grant ended the Rattlers' run with his fourth goal of the game, an unassisted marker past rookie goalkeeper John Galloway with 3:23 remaining.
But, the Rattlers made things interesting with 18 seconds left when midfielder Matt Striebel scored a two-point goal off an assist from rookie midfielder Jovan Miller to cut the deficit to 14-13.
However, the Nationals won the ensuing face-off and held off the Rattlers to earn the victory.
Grant earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors after posting a five-point effort while midfielder Jordan Hall added a goal with three assists. Making his first career start, Marra made 16 saves, including nine in the first half.
Crotty led Rochester in a losing effort by scoring five goals with two assists while Jeff Colburn had a goal with four assists. Making his MLL debut, Galloway made 12 saves in a losing effort.
The Nationals outshot Rochester by a 45-41 margin and won 18 of 30 face-offs.
Major League Lacrosse: Hamilton Nationals 14, Rochester Rattlers 13
Hamilton (1-2) 3-4-6-1 / 14
Rochester (0-3) 3-4-1-5 / 13
One-Point Goals: HAM - John Grant, Jr. 4, Brett Bucktooth 2, Joe Walters 2, Cody Jamieson 2, Jeremy Thompson 2, Brodie Merrill 1, Jordan Hall 1; ROC - Ned Crotty 5, Greg Niewieroski 2, Jeff Colburn 1, Matt Striebel 1, Martin Cahill 1, Jordan Levine 1. Two-Point Goals: HAM - n/a; ROC - Matt Striebel 1. Assists: HAM - Jeremy Boltus 3, Jordan Hall 3, Geoff Snider 1, Cody Jamieson 1, John Grant, Jr. 1; ROC - Jeff Colburn 4, Jovan Miller 2, Jordan Levine 2, Ned Crotty 2, Matt Striebel 1. Saves: HAM - Joe Marra 16 (60:00, 12 goals allowed); ROC - John Galloway 12 (60:00, 14 goals allowed). Shots: HAM - 45; ROC - 41. Power-Play Opportunities: HAM - 0 for 2; ROC - 0 for 5. Attendance: 4,131.
Post-Game Notes: Crotty is the third MLL player this year to score at least 5 goals in a game ... Denver's Brendan Mundorf had 6 goals with 4 assists against the Nationals in the season opener on May 14 ... Meanwhile, Boston midfielder Paul Rabil tallied five goals for the Cannons in last week's win over Chesapeake ... Crotty recorded the fourth "hat trick" of his MLL career on Friday night with his career-high five goals ... It was his second "hat trick" of the season ... He had three goals in the season opener at Chesapeake on May 14 ... In the Nationals' first two games this season, they had been outscored by 10-4 in the third quarter ... On Friday night, they outscored Rochester by 6-1 in the third period ... Colburn matched a league season high with his four assists on Friday night ... While Mundorf had four assists against the Nationals on May 14, Boston attackman Ryan Boyle also had four assists in the season opener on May 14.
|06/12/2011||Week 4 Highlights: Nationals at Rattlers|