Rochester Rides Big Second Half To Win Over Florida
|Rochester blew open a close game in the second half to move into second place, 1.5 games behind Denver (which plays Saturday). (Bob Markey II)|
Four straight goals to open the third quarter helped the Rattlers take over sole possession of second place in the Major League Lacrosse standings, dropping the Launch by an 18-13 score on the road Friday evening.
Rochester (5-3) added another four goal run in the fourth quarter, pulling away with a 9-4 second half advantage after going into the half knotted at nine goals apiece against Florida (4-4). The Launch dropped into third place, a half game ahead of the logjam of Boston, Ohio, New York and Charlotte at 3-4 before playing their games this weekend.
Rookie Jordan Wolf had a huge game for the Rattlers, scoring twice and adding four assists to earn game MVP honors. In just two professional games, Wolf has racked up 11 points, having gone for four goals and an assist a week ago against Ohio - only five teammates have more points than the recent Duke graduate, despite each playing either seven or eight games so far.
The Rattlers' leading scorer Justin Turri had three goals - including a 2-pointer - and an assist, with Kevin Leveille scoring twice and adding three assists to help lead the team as well. Jordan MacIntosh also had a hat-trick and an assist as six Rochester players had at least three points on the night.
Florida, which had clawed back from an early deficit with four straight goals to start the second quarter, got three goals and an assist from Jordan Hall and three points each from Casey Powell and Kieran McArdle. Christopher Mattes also had a good game for the Launch, winning 18-of-28 face-offs.
John Galloway earned the win in net, playing all 60 minutes and making 14 saves while facing 27 shots on the night. In the second half, he and the rest of the Rattlers defense allowed just four goals. Brett Queener made nine saves in the losing effort for the Launch, giving way late to Adam Fullerton, who made one save in just over ten minutes of action.
The win for Rochester sets up a big game next weekend at home, where the Rattlers host Denver, which stands alone atop the league table at 6-1 going into Saturday's game at home against Chesapeake. If the Outlaws fall, Rochester would have a chance to pull into a tie for the league lead with a win over Denver. Florida will look to get back to winning ways with a home date next weekend against the Bayhawks.
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