The 2016 MLL season got underway today with a rematch of the 2015 Championship Game which pitted the Rochester Rattlers against the New York Lizards. The Lizards outscored the Rattlers 7-1 in the fourth quarter to pull away and win 19-16.

The Lizards started the game off just like they wanted scoring a power play goal in the first five minutes from the stick of Ryan Walsh. The lead didn’t last for long though as the Rattlers bounced back scoring two goals in succession to take control. After a Matt Gibson goal that brought the game square yet again, Rochester went on another three-goal run to end the first quarter making it 5-2. The goals came from Jordan Wolf, Kyle Keenan and Jeremy Boltus, who tallied his second in the quarter.

Jordan Wolf kept the ball rolling in the second quarter with his turnaround jump-shot to extend the Rattlers lead to four. New York’s Chris LaPierre found the back of the net and cut the lead to three. The Rattlers went on another run to score a set of three quick goals capped off by a Jordan Wolf score giving him a hat trick in the first half. The Lizards bounced back with a run of their own putting two goals on the scoreboard in fourteen seconds and then two more within the next two minutes to make the game a competition again coming within two goals. The last goal of the streak was a highlight play with Rob Pannell assisting Tommy Palasek a behind-the-back pass on the crease. Wolf snapped the Lizards run with his fourth goal of the half as he tip-toed his way around the crease and put it past Lizard goalie, Drew Adams. Kyle VanHoff kept momentum going for the Rattlers with his first tally of the season. Rochester Rattlers led 11-7 at the half. The Lizards gave up more goals in the first half then they did in any of the three games versus the Rattlers last year.

The second half started a hat trick goal for Kyle Denhoff. Matt Gibson responded by tallying his own hat trick goal. Paul Rabil scored his second of the game from behind the two point arc, making it the first two pointer of the 2016 MLL Season and brought the Lizards within 2.After a rebounding goal for Will Koshansky of the Rattlers, Tommy Palasek scored his second of the day for the Lizards off a feed from Rob Pannell who collected his third assist.Rochester continued to push their offensive with Wolf scoring his fifth of the game and Boltus tallying his third. Gibson added his fourth of the game off a behind-the-back assist from Palasek and the Lizards closed out the third quarter trailed 12-15.

The final quarter began with Gibson igniting the Lizards with his fifth goal cutting the lead to two goals. The Lizards’ offensive threats tallied six more goals in the quarter to outscore the Rattlers 7-1.Paul Rabil completed his hat trick with a quick goal past Rattlers goalie John Galloway. Quickly after the Rabil goal, JoJo Marasco picked up his first goal of the season with a behind-the-back stunner to tie the game up at 15. Michael Lazore put the Rattlers back in front for the moment, but Rabil knotted it up once more with his fourth goal just inside the two point arc. Just a few moments later, Tommy Palasek gave the Lizards the lead with his hat trick goal. 

Precision and strategy kept the Lizards in front down the stretch. Goalkeeper Drew Adams made key saves in the final minutes to eliminate any chances the Rattlers created. Two Rob Pannell goals sealed the deal for the Lizards to complete the comeback.