MLL Notebook: Rattlers End Skid with Surprising Win at Denver


Rookie goalie Sean Sconone made 20 saves to lead the Dallas Rattlers to their first win of the season, an 11-8 triumph at first-place Denver.

The skid is over, and it ended in an unlikely way.

The Dallas Rattlers won their first game of the 2019 season — their first in eight tries — by defeating the league-leading Denver Outlaws 11-8 in Denver. Not only did the Rattlers win the game, but also they held one of the top-scoring offenses in the league to eight goals.

“It feels great to get the first win of the season,” Rattlers goalie Sean Sconone said in a postgame interview on ESPN+. “These guys are working hard all year. Denver is a great team. Holding them to eight goals is amazing. We give all the credit to those guys [on defense]: Jake Pulver, Eli Salama and Chris Keating. Those guys really did a good job today.”

Dallas got off to another strong start, opening with a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. Just like Dallas’ previous two games, however, that first quarter lead evaporated. Denver outscored Dallas 6-2 in the second and third quarters. The teams were tied going into the fourth quarter, but the Dallas defense buckled down and held the Outlaws to just one goal in the fourth quarter.

Sconone, the Coca Cola Player of the Game in his third MLL game, made 20 saves.

“Those guys did a good job on defense,” Sconone said. “We did a good job in transition trying to stop them and cause them to make tough feeds to the middle. We did a good job doing that.”

The loss was Denver’s first at home this season, and it was their lowest point total of the year.

Lizards, Blaze get revenge

The cliché is revenge is a dish best served cold; while a nationwide heat wave kept things from being cold, the New York Lizards and Atlanta Blaze were happy to avenge previous losses in Week 8.

The Lizards overcame the Chesapeake Bayhawks in Annapolis 14-10 after losing to them in their third game of the season, while the Blaze went to Boston and beat the team that defeated them one week earlier, when they beat the Cannons 15-12.

In the Week 8 matchup between the Lizards and Bayhawks, Chesapeake scored first in three of the four quarters, but the Bayhawks never led after the Lizards tied the game at 1 at the 10:35 mark in the first quarter.

Already up by two goals at the end of the first quarter, New York scored the first four goals of the second quarter to open up a six-goal lead, one Chesapeake would never be able to overcome.

“We’re starting to play as a team a lot more,” Lizards defenseman Ben Randall said in a postgame interview on Lax Sports Network, “clearing the ball, playing team defense, sliding at the right time, the offense is sharing the ball.”

The Week 7 matchup between the Blaze and Cannons was a wild one, featuring huge comebacks and a last-minute save by a rookie goaltender to preserve a one-goal victory. In Week 8, however, the Blaze overcame a slow first quarter, where they were outscored 5-2, to win the game.

The Blaze outscored the Cannons 10-4 in the second and third quarters to take control of the game. In that span, seven different Blaze players scored a goal, including three from All-Star Tommy Palasek.

Randy Staats scored two goals and added six assists (which helped him take the league points lead) in helping the league’s best offense take down the Cannons.

“We had a slow start. They got up four-nothing on us,” Staats said on Lax Sports Network. “We had a couple big quarters and a couple big stops from our defense. Our transition played well. They pushed the ball well, and that helped us out on the offensive end. The big key for us this week was keeping our composure. When they went on a run, we were able to stop them. That was a big key for us.”

Rattlers keep making moves

After acquiring midfielder Adam Osika from the Chesapeake Bayhawks on July 2, Dallas made its second trade of the season. The Rattlers sent a third-round collegiate draft pick to the Boston Cannons in exchange for attackman Shawn Evans. Evans is an NLL and world indoor MVP, and while his MLL career isn’t as extensive, he has been successful in a small sample size. In three seasons (2009, 2017, and 2018), he totaled 25 points in seven games. In the 2019 season, Evans played two games for the Cannons, scoring a goal and adding two assists.

Evans did not appear for the Rattlers in the team’s victory over Denver.

The Rattlers also added another successful box lacrosse player to its roster, adding Kyle Buchanan from the player pool.


Alex Woodall continued his strong form as of late, winning 19 of 31 faceoffs and picking up nine ground balls against the Cannons. … Shayne Jackson led the Blaze in goals, with four. He also added an assist for a total of five points. … All-Star T.J. Comizio had a strong all-around game for Atlanta, scoring a goal, assisting two other goals, picking up two ground balls and causing two turnovers. …

Despite the loss, Cannons All-Star goalie Nick Marrocco still made 21 saves. … Will Sands led the Cannons offense with three goals and two assists. All-Star Mark Cockerton, who is third in the league in goals, had one goal and two assists. …

While the defense was the focal point of Dallas’ big win over Denver, All-Star Bryce Wasserman led the offense with three goals. Jack Curran also had three points on two goals and one assist. … One week after his highlight-reel first professional goal, Bradley Voigt scored his second of the season in Dallas’ win over Denver. …

Denver faceoff specialist and All-Star Max Adler was strong in defeat, winning 14 of 22 faceoffs, picking up six ground balls and adding an assist. … Ryan Lee led the Outlaws with four points on two goals (one of which was a 2-pointer) and an assist. All-Star John Grant Jr. finished with three points, thanks to his one goal and two assists. …

Bayhawks All-Star defenseman Jesse Bernhardt was a menace on the field, causing three turnovers and picking up four ground balls. … Kenny Massa won 13 of 26 faceoffs and scored a goal for Chesapeake. … John Wagner made his MLL debut for the Bayhawks and added two assists. … All-Stars Lyle Thompson (two goals, one assist) and Colin Heacock (three goals) each had three points for the Bayhawks. Fellow All-Star attackman Steele Stanwick was unavailable for the game. …

Ryan Walsh led the way for the Lizards with three goals and one assist. Justin Reh (three goals) and All-Stars Rob Pannell (three goals) and Dylan Molloy (one goal, two assists) each had three points for New York. … Austin Kaut made 13 saves for New York. … Lizards All-Star faceoff specialist Greg Puskuldjian won 14 of 28 faceoffs and picked up seven ground balls.

Play of the Week
Zed Williams, Boston Cannons

Zed Williams has been a big reason for the Cannons’ success this season. He’s fourth on the team in scoring, with 20 points on 14 goals and six assists. He can add landing on the “SportsCenter” Top 10 plays list to his resume. His through-the-legs score earned him the No. 2 spot on the list.

Player of the Week
Ben Randall, D, New York Lizards

The first-time All-Star was rewarded in Week 8 with the unenviable task of guarding Lyle Thompson, who was averaging six points a game. Randall rose to the challenge, holding Thompson to three points on two goals and one assist. And one of those goals came on a man-up with Randall in the penalty box.

Randall was draped over Thompson throughout the night, not allowing him much room, and he was able to match sticks on Thompson’s numerous stick fakes. Additionally, Randall scored a goal and picked up two ground balls.

“I think I did my best when I was patient with him,” Randall said in a postgame interview on Lax Sports Network. “When I found myself lunging and going for stick is when I ended up getting beat. I had Kaut save me on a few of those. I think we did a good job as a team sliding when I needed it but also at the same time trusting me, because that’s when Lyle can be really dangerous, when you slide to him. He has that vision to get a bunch of assists.”

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