In an exhilarating game, the Denver Outlaws won their first Major League Lacrosse Championship, defeating the Rochester Rattlers 12-11in front of a crowd of over 8,000 screaming fans at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University.
MLL veteran John Grant Jr., was named Championship MVP for the second year in a row, becoming the first player to do so. Head Coach B.J. O’Hara became the first coach in MLL history to win two championships with two different teams, the other being in 2008 when the roles were reversed and the Rattlers defeated the Outlaws.
The game came down to the last minute, but in the end the Outlaws walked away champions.
Much as everyone expected, the game opened at a break-neck pace. Nineteen seconds into the first quarter, Denver’s Chris Bocklet fired a shot passed Rochester goalie, John Galloway to get the scoring started. While the Outlaws looked to go out fast and strong, Bocklet’s goal would be their last of the opening quarter. The Rattlers went on a five-goal streak to take the lead. Michael Lazore, Miles Thompson, John Ranagan, Mark Cockerton and Dave Lawson all tallied for Rochester.
Denver came out with more energy in the second quarter, scoring the first two goals of the quarter. Domenic Sebastiani got his first of the game, and Bocklet added his second for the Outlaws. Rochester’s Ranagan would score his second of the game, shooting from just inside the two-point arc. The final goal of the quarter was scored by Denver’s John Grant, Jr., who had been quiet up until this point. Denver entered halftime down 6-4 to Rochester.
With only 30 minutes remaining in the Championship Game, things began to get physical. Both teams grew more aggressive, truly showing how determined they were to win. Rochester started the scoring with goals by Justin Turri and Ranagan, who completed a hat trick. The Outlaws and Rattlers would then go back-and-forth, with goals by Eric Law and Jeremy Sieverts for Denver, and Jordan Wolf and Lawson, with his second, for Rochester.
Entering the final quarter, the Outlaws looked to make a comeback, scoring three straight goals to close the gap. Grant picked up back-to-back goals, completing a hat trick, and putting Denver within two. Second year attackman Law scored the next goal, bringing the Outlaws within one. Lawson would pick up the hat trick for Rochester, and temporarily give his team some breathing room. With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Sieverts fired a two-pointer past Galloway, tying the game. With huge saves by Schwartzman and Galloway, and time dwindling the atmosphere grew tense. Drew Snider scored his first of the game with 56 seconds remaining, giving Denver the go-ahead goal.
As time ran out, Major League Lacrosse history was made. For the first time in the club’s nine-year existence, the Denver Outlaws won the Steinfeld Trophy, defeating the Rochester Rattlers with a final score of 12-11.