Outlaws Open Season with Third Straight Win
from press release
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Outlaws battled
back to earn their second straight come-from-behind win, using five
fourth-quarter goals to top the Lizards 11-10. As expected, the
matchup between the two bitter rivals was physical from the onset
with both defenses controlling the pace of the game.
Each team found the net from two-point range to start the game, with Peet Poillon drilling a long-distance shot just 57 seconds into the game to open the scoring. Stephen Peyser responded with a two-pointer of his own to make the score 2-2 just over one minute later.
Matt Danowski gave Long Island a 3-2 lead with his fifth goal of the season, but the Outlaws answered with goals from Drew Westervelt and Billy Bitter, who notched his first career score, to put Denver ahead 4-3 after the first quarter.
“The first game we didn’t have (Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf),” Bitter said. “But now that I have them, their leadership skills are incredible they made me feel comfortable tonight. With those guys on attack it’s fun and it takes some pressure off.”
Lizards goalie Drew Adams kept the Outlaws off the scoreboard in the second quarter, as he saved all six shots on goal during the period.
Outlaws goalie Jesse Schwartzman put together another outstanding outing, as he saved 18-of-27 shots (.667 pct.), marking his third game with a save percentage of .600 or better this season. He stonewalled several point-blank looks from the Lizards and added three ground balls.
“Jesse was on top of his game.” said General Manager Brian Reese. “We gave up some one-on-ones and he was able to make the saves. Without him playing that way, we wouldn’t have had a chance to come back at the end. He stole a couple of goals from Long Island that really kept us in the game.”
Danowski and Peyser added their second markers of the game and Chris Fiore contributed his first to give Long Island a 6-4 halftime advantage.
Bill McGlone netted his first goal as an Outlaw to kick off the third-quarter scoring, but Long Island answered with a marker from Stephen Berger to regain the two-goal edge.
Mundorf put in his seventh tally of the season to pull the Outlaws back within one, but Berger notched his second of the game with 32 seconds to go in the quarter that gave Long Island an 8-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Peyser started the fourth quarter with his fourth of the game to give the Lizards their largest lead of the night at 9-6.
Bitter, playing in just his second professional game, sparked Denver’s comeback efforts with a bouncer past Adams to cut the deficit to 9-7 at the 3:19 mark. Just 1:10 later, Bitter, who would earn Bud Light MVP honors, beat Adams again for his first career hat trick.
“Bitter goes hard doesn’t he? He’s fun to watch and was the player of the game,” said Head Coach Tom Slate. “It was neat to watch him tonight.”
Tim Goettelmann pushed the Lizards’ lead back to two goals at 10-8, but the Outlaws closed the game with three consecutive scores, capitalizing on man-up opportunities with a pair of power-play goals in the final minutes.
McGlone started the run with his second goal of the game with 5:48 remaining, and then Mundorf punched in a man-up marker to deadlock the game at 10-10 with 2:26 to play.
After another penalty to Long Island, Westervelt saw his initial shot blocked by Adams, but kept his composure, scooped up the rebound and blasted the game-winner into the back of the net with 52 seconds left on the clock.
Andrew Hennessey won the ensuing draw and a clutch play by Matt Bocklet and Bitter kept the ball inbounds and in the Outlaws’ possession to secure the 11-10 victory.
Denver returns to action on Sat., June 11 vs. Chesapeake. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. MDT at INVESCO Field at Mile High.
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