MLL Notebook: Lizards Dig Deep, Outlaws Leapfrog Cannons


Mikie Schlosser's return to the Denver Outlaws lineup has coincided with their two-game winning streak.

The Dallas Rattlers and New York Lizards got off to similar winless starts to the 2019 Major League Lacrosse season. It was the Lizards who topped the Rattlers at the end of June to determine which team would win its first game of the season.

Since then, the two teams have gone in different directions. After losing seven in a row, Dallas rattled off six consecutive wins to climb back into the playoff race, while New York was the first team officially eliminated from playoff contention with five consecutive losses between Aug. 3-24.

In Week 13, however, the Lizards snapped two streaks — Dallas’ win streak and their own losing streak —  when they narrowly defeated the Rattlers 12-11 on Saturday.

“You can’t expect games are going to be given to you,” Lizards attackman Rob Pannell said in an interview earlier in the week. “Every game has to be earned, and I think guys are starting to realize that. The difference between winning and losing in professional lacrosse is very small.”

And often, the difference is one goal. The Lizards have now played in four one-goal games this season. Saturday marked their first one-goal win.

New York needed to dig deep, nearly coughing up a large lead. The Lizards scored the first two goals of the game and, thanks to two goals from Dylan Molloy, ended the first quarter with a 6-2 lead.

Dallas opened the second quarter with a 2-point goal from Eli Salama (his team-leading fourth 2-pointer), quickly cutting the deficit in half. While the Lizards never lost their lead, Dallas remained within one goal of New York throughout the majority of the game.

With a little more than four and a half minutes remaining, Pannell found Justin Reh to put New York up by two goals. But Dallas would make a mad dash in an attempt to tie the game late.

Down by two, Bryce Wasserman scored his third goal of the night with 54 seconds remaining to cut New York’s lead to one. Dallas forced a New York turnover with 10 seconds remaining, and Bradley Voigt was able to get a shot off before the buzzer, but Austin Kaut made his eighth save of the night to preserve the victory.

“It’s hard not to work well with Rob Pannell. He’s the best player in the world right now,” Reh said in a televised postgame interview on Lax Sports Network about his eventual game-winning goal and playing alongside Pannell. “When he dodges, he draws the double very well. I move myself into a spot where he can see me. I have the easy job of setting up and shooting the ball.”

Denver wins season series vs. Cannons

After losing to the Cannons on Aug. 3 — the second game of a four-game losing streak — Denver bounced back in the third and final game of the series, dominating Boston 22-9 to leapfrog the Cannons in the standings and win the season series 2-1.

The perfect symbolism for the result of the game is the clip the league shared on its Twitter account of Outlaws midfielder Mikie Schlosser carrying the ball and lowering his shoulder into Boston midfielder Tim Edwards and leveling him before scoring.

Denver defender Andrew Newbold scored a 2-pointer to start the game and the rout was on. Never trailing, Denver used a 7-2 run in the third quarter and a 12-4 second half to run away from the Cannons.

The team is now 2-0 with the return of Schlosser, who missed each game of the four-game losing streak due to a hamstring injury. Against the Cannons, Schlosser scored three goals, one of which was a 2-pointer.

With the win, Denver moves back into a tie with the Chesapeake Bayhawks for first place in the league standings. The two teams play each other in Week 15 and Week 16 to close out the regular season. Their season series is tied at one game apiece.


Rob Pannell finished with three goals and one assist, but it was Justin Reh who led the Lizards in scoring with two goals and three assists. … Dylan Molloy scored two goals and added an assist for the Lizards. … Michael Begley’s lone goal of the game was an impressive crease dive with a shot over Dallas goalie Sean Sconone’s shoulder. … Mark Andrejack helped the Lizards out at the faceoff X, winning seven of 10 faceoffs and picking up three ground balls. …

Jack Curran led the Rattlers with four goals and one assist. … Dallas attackman Bryce Wasserman finished with three goals and one assist, while Bradley Voigt added two goals and an assist. … Dallas long pole Craig Chick continued to be a strong force on the defensive side, causing two turnovers and picking up four ground balls. …

In addition to Schlosser, Zach Currier (three goals, one assist), Brendan Kavanagh (three goals, one assist) and Jack Jasinski (2-point goal, one assist) each tallied four points apiece for Denver. … Andrew Newbold’s 2-point goal was his team-leading third of the season. … Chris Aslanian led the Outlaws with three assists. …

The Cannons were led by Kyle Denhoff (one goal, two assists) and Kyle Jackson (two goals, one assist) with three points apiece. … Boston faceoff specialist Kevin Reisman won 14 of 27 faceoffs and picked up nine ground balls. Nate Farrell won four of five faceoffs. … Cannons rookie Charlie Durbin scored a goal in his MLL debut.

Player of the Week
Ryan Lee, A, Denver Outlaws

The Outlaws offense was firing on all cylinders, and Lee was the man that stood out thanks to his five goals. His first goal of the game was highlight-reel worthy, receiving a behind-the-back pass from Zach Currier only to bury a backhand shot.

Play of the Week
John Grant Jr., A, Denver Outlaws

Grant’s one-handed behind-the-back bouncer elicited a lot of reactions on Twitter.

The Lacrosse Cave called Grant a 44-year-old cheat code.

Scott Evans noted that Grant did it with his so-called weak hand.

Cealey Godwin, a sports reporter for 9News (an NBC affiliate) in Denver, asked Grant in a tweet, “These kids have families … Promising lives in front of them … And you gotta do them LIKE THAT?!”

Grant promptly replied, “Yes, they deserved it.”

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