The Rochester Rattlers (7-3) moved into a tie for first place with a thrilling 15-13 win over the Charlotte Hounds (4-6) on Saturday Night. The Rattlers knew if they wanted to take home a victory they would need to have a strong start. Rochester’s Justin Turri did just that, opening up the game with a spin dodge off the top of the crease.
After both Mike Sawyer and Justin Ward fired shots wide, Rattlers John Ranagan showed the Hounds how to finish with a lefty goal, his tenth of the season. Charlotte finally made it on the scoreboard with a shot by John Haus, but it wasn’t long before Rochester came back with a wide-open goal by Mark Cockerton.
After a second goal by Haus, Thomas DeNapoli tied the game up 3-3, scoring in the low right corner. The Rattlers responded shortly after. Jordan Wolf broke down the defense, drawing Hounds goalie Adam Ghitelman out of the cage, allowing him to make a diving goal around the right side of the crease. Rookie Miles Thompson ended the quarter with a stunning feed behind the back to Turri, who made a goal just before the buzzer ending the quarter up 5-3.
The Rattlers opened the second quarter just like they left it. Jordan MacIntosh had a beautiful behind the back feed to Turri, who buried the shot in the back of the net to claim his hat trick. Despite Justin Ward giving Charlotte another point, Joel White ran the Rattlers score up 7-4.
The back and forth battle continued as Hound’s Mike Sawyer made a quick catch-and-release shot, closing the gap 7-5. Long-stick Mike Manley and Thompson refused to let the Hounds catch up, claiming another two goals for the Rattlers. Then, Wolf came off the goal line extended to add another to the Rochester tally ending the half 10-5.
Rochester entered the second half with twice as many goals as the Hounds and continued their streak with a low to high shot from Cockerton. Charlotte’s Mike Sawyer came in with a key 2-pointer as well as another goal to move the score to 11-8. Rattlers rookie Mark Cockerton claimed his hat trick, giving the Rattlers another four-goal lead coming into the end of the third.
A lot of Rochester’s success throughout the game was due to their phenomenal team and individual defense. They were constantly forcing the Hounds to make bad offensive decisions under the pressure of the shot clock. Charlotte on the other hand was constantly caught watching the ball on defense, leaving the Rattlers wide open.
Hounds attackman Matt Danowski started off the fourth quarter with an incredible behind-the-back goal followed by another point by Jake Tripucka, making it a two-goal game. After going back and forth for the last portion of the game, Wolf found the back of the net followed by another goal from Dave Lawson. Danowski showed classic Hounds’ grit, putting another one on the board for the Hounds.
Tensions were high in the last five minutes of the game as Joel White brought the score to 15-11. The Hounds turned around with a well-fought crease shot, getting another goal by rookie Ward. Ward fought to the end making another goal within the last minute, but the Hounds were unable to overcome the 15-13 Rochester lead.
-The Rattlers now move into a tie for first place with the Denver Outlaws going into the break for the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.
-The Hounds drop into a three-way tie for fifth with the Florida Launch and the Ohio Machine
-Rattlers Jordan Wolf was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game with 3 goals
-Rochester’s Justin Turri, Mark Cockerton, Jordan Wolf and Charlotte’s Justin Ward all had hat-tricks during tonight’s game