Rattlers Stay Alive, Eliminate Lizards from MLL Playoff Hunt
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The Rochester Rattlers officially eliminated the New York Lizards from postseason play with a 13-12 win at Shuart Stadium. Rookie David Lawson earned himself Player of the Game after a game-high five goal performance.
Rochester jumped out to an early 3-0 lead to begin the contest, getting goals from midfielders John Ranagan, Lawson, and long-pole defender Tom Montelli. The deep rifle from Montelli was his second of the season, and fourth of his career. Stephen Peyser got New York on the board mid-way through the quarter, followed by an underhand goal from midfielder David Earl to bring the Lizards within one. Lawson faked up-field and slipped inside the defender, scoring on back-to-back goals to end the first quarter with a 5-2 Rochester lead, and giving the Duke graduate a hat-trick.
Rob Pannell wrapped the crease and snuck one past goalie John Galloway to open the second quarter, cutting the lead to two. Over 10 minutes expired before Earl cut his way in and out of traffic for his second goal of the night and New York's fourth. Rattlers midfielder Kyle Denhoff beat his defender to close the half 6-4, giving Rochester a two point lead. Galloway accumulated 10 saves during the first thirty minutes, while New York faceoff expert Greg Gurenlian went an impressive 9-12.
Lawson picked up right where he ended, posting-up his defender and firing in his fourth goal of the night to start the second half of play. Denhoff followed with a left-alley drive to pick up his second tally of the night, and put the Rattlers ahead 8-4. Earl got his first hat-trick of the season off a face dodge, and stick-side, hip-shot past Galloway to give the Lizards a spark. Attackman Steve Mock tallied New York's next two, catching and shooting off passes from Pannell and Tom Palasek. Palasek then registered one of his own after Peyser drew the slide and dished the ball to his teammate. Rochester's Jordan MacIntosh registered a goal in the quarter, and the Rattlers ended the third up 9-8.
An exciting fourth quarter saw four goals from each team, beginning with long-pole defender Joel White burying one for Rochester off a pass from Ned Crotty. Pannell and DeNapoli exchanged goals, long-pole defender CJ Costabile tallied one off the faceoff, and Pannell struck again to tie the game 11-11, the first tie since the opening draw. Palasek then dove from goal-line extended to give New York their first lead of the night 12-11. Lawson scored his fifth and final goal of the night shooting low to low past Adams. DeNapoli tallied the game-winner off a feed from Crotty to put the Rattlers ahead for good.
New York goaltender Drew Adams made a point-blank save on a Rochester man-up opportunity to give the Lizards the ball with 1:08 remaining in the game. A costly turnover allowed Rochester to get the ball back and waste the clock, keeping the Rattlers in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Rochester will continue their fight next Saturday, August 3, against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The game will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. (ET), check local listings and ESPN3.com for full coverage. New York will host the undefeated Denver Outlaws Sunday, August 4, at 5:00 p.m. (ET). Tune into CBS Sports Network.
- Lawson's five goals are a career-high.
- Ranagan has tallied at least one goal in the past seven games.
- Between the two teams' 25 goals, only seven were assisted.
- Pannell has now registered five hat-tricks this season.
- Gurenlian went 21-29 at the faceoff X.