Jordan Wolf propelled the Rochester Rattlers (9-3) past the visiting Charlotte Hounds (4-8), 13-9 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester Saturday evening, officially clinching a playoff spot for Rochester. The Rattlers now sit alone in first place in the MLL standings.
Rochester jumped to a quick 2-0 lead when rookie Mark Cockerton and second year sensation David Lawson beat Hounds Goalie Adam Ghitelman, who finished with ten saves in the losing effort.
Charlotte would respond in the first half, thanks to two goals from Mike Sawyer. A back-and–forth contest continued, with Charlotte scoring when Rochester appeared to be pulling away.
Strong defensive performances on both ends of the field, from Charlotte’s Brett Schmidt and Rochester’s Mike Manley, quieted the offensive firepower as the first half ended at six goals apiece.
“We need to do the little things better” said Rattlers Head Coach Tim Soudan at the half “We lacked offensive organization and we need to tighten up defensively.”
The Rattlers responded to their Coach’s halftime speech and held the Hounds to a mere three second half goals, netting seven tallies themselves.
“It was a testament to our offense” said Coca-Cola Player of the Game Jordan Wolf, “we’re so versatile and threw a lot of different looks at their defense.”
And it was Wolf who ended the deadlock with the game tied late in the third quarter when he gave the Rattlers a 9-8 lead that they would not relinquish.
The rookie dodged from behind the net, tip-toed the crease with an inside roll and quickly dunked the ball over the shoulder of Ghitelman, his fourth goal of the day.
The Hounds ran out of steam in the final frame, in much part due to Faceoff Specialist John Ortolani’s domination at the X. The 2014 MLL All-Star was able to provide Rochester will a clear advantage in possession.
With two weeks left in the regular season, Rochester has now clinched one of four MLL playoff spots.
-Jordan Wolf was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game (5g, 2a)
-At the X: John Ortolani finished 13-for-26 for Rochester, Brendan Fowler finished 13-for-26 for the Hounds.
-Charlotte remains winless, 0-6, on the road
-Jake Tripucka led the Hounds in scoring with 2 goals, 1 assist.
-John Galloway recorded 10 saves in the victory