ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Playing their third straight road game, the Denver Outlaws (10-3) used a four-goal performance from midfielder Peet Poillon to remain tied for first place in the Major League Lacrosse standings by posting a 17-12 victory over the Rochester Rattlers (7-6) at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night.
With the win, the Outlaws clinched a berth in the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior while staying tied with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in first place in the standings. The two teams will meet for the regular season title and the top seed in the postseason next Saturday in Annapolis.
After attackman Steven Boyle gave Rochester a 1-0 lead just over a minute into the first quarter, the Outlaws answered by scoring four of the next five goals to gain a 4-2 advantage with 2:12 remaining in the period.
Midfielder Roy Lang trimmed the margin to 4-3 when he scored an unassisted goal with 1:14 left before Denver scored twice in the final 43 seconds of the quarter, upping their lead to 6-3.
Attackman Kevin Leveille converted a pass from attackman Ned Crotty just 41 seconds into the second quarter for the Rattlers before a pair of goals by Poillon, including a two-point marker, extended the Denver advantage to 9-4 with 5:21 left in the first half.
The teams traded goals in the final five minutes, giving Denver a 10-5 lead at the intermission.
Rookie attackman Mark Matthews gave the Outlaws an 11-5 lead when he scored off an assist from Poillon just 1:25 into the third quarter, but the Rattlers tallied three straight goals, including a goal and an assist from Boyle, to close the margin to 11-8.
But, Denver answered with a four-goal run of its own to increase the advantage to 15-8 with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Matthews led the Outlaws by scoring a goal with two assists during the run.
The Rattlers scored four of the next five goals to close the gap to 16-12 with 2:59 left in the fourth quarter, but Poillon secured the victory when he scored his fourth goal of the game, an unassisted marker with 2:35 left.
While Poillon led the Outlaws with his six-point effort en route to Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors, attackman Brendan Mundorf added three goals with an assist while Matthews contributed two goals with two assists.
Leveille scored three goals with an assist in a losing effort for Rochester, which remained alive in the playoff race as a result of the Lizards' loss at Chesapeake.
The Rattlers outshot Denver by a 44-35 margin and had a 46-35 advantage in ground balls.