Denver Claims First MLL Title in Dramatic Fashion
The Denver Outlaws finally exorcised their Major League Lacrosse playoff demons.
Midfielder Jeremy Sieverts' two-pointer tied the game with 5:35 left and Drew Snider notched the winner with 56 seconds left on a righty 15-yard shot as the Outlaws claimed their first MLL title in nine post-season appearances and fifth championship game try with a 12-11 victory over the top-seeded Rochester Rattlers.
Denver claimed just its second lead of the game on Snider's score in the final minute. Rochester had led 5-1 after the first quarter and 10-6 heading into the fourth before the Outlaws outscored them 6-1 in the final 15 minutes.
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|Drew Snider scored the winner with 56 seconds left in Denver's 12-11 MLL championship game victory over the Rochester Rattlers. (Kevin Liles)|
John Grant Jr. scored three goals with one assist and sparked the comeback with two straight goals, the second of the behind-the-back variety, to cut the Rochester lead to 10-8 with 13:08 left. Then he assisted Eric Law's score to make it a one-goal game three minutes later in front of an announced crowd of 8,149 fans at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the Kennesaw State University campus just northwest of Atlanta.
"We had a lot of jitters tonight and it showed, but at the end of the game we put our heads down and played lacrosse," Grant said.
Goalie Jesse Schwartzman, one of two members of the team (defenseman Lee Zink was the other) that had played in all of the previous playoff shortcomings, finished with nine saves.
"This means everything," Schwartzman said. "We weren't going to let this one slip today."
Midfielders John Ranagan and Dave Lawson scored three goals apiece and John Galloway made 11 saves for Rochester, which came up just short of winning its first title since 2008. Anthony Kelly won 14 of 25 faceoffs for Denver.
Odds and Ends
During halftime of the game broadcast on CBS Sports Network, MLL commissioner David Gross said it's no secret the league is interested in placing a team in Atlanta, but said MLL will not expand to the market for the 2015 season, but is hopeful for 2016. ... Grant Jr. extended his personal MLL playoff win streak to 10 games.
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