Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 MLL Championship Game Photos

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images

MLL Championship News Coverage

Here are a collection of stories recapping the team's MLL Championship victory:

The Denver Post: Denver Outlaws win 2014 Major League Lacrosse championship

7News: Denver Outlaws win first Major League Lacrosse Championship in club history

CBS4: Denver Outlaws Top Rochester Rattlers 12-11 For First MLL Championship

Mile High Sports: Outlaws make history with first MLL Championship

Inside Lacrosse: Champs at Last: Outlaws Come Back to Beat Rattlers For First MLL Title; Grant Named MVP

Inside Lacrosse: Devitte: How the Outlaws Won, How the Rattlers Lost

Inside Lacrosse:  Devitte's MLL Championship Pregame Thoughts

Inside Lacrosse: New Year, New Team, Same Junior

Lax Magazine: The Waiting is Over: Grant Sparks Outlaws to Elusive Title

Lax Magazine: Denver Claims First MLL Title in Dramatic Fashion

Lax Magazine: Denver-Rochester MLL Title Game Leaves Footprint on Atlanta

Lax Magazine: Photo Gallery: Denver 12, Rochester 11 (MLL Final)

Lax Magazine: Familiar Storylines for Rochester-Denver MLL Championship

Major League Lacrosse: Outlaws win first MLL Championship in club history

Marietta Daily Journal: Denver rallies for MLL crown

Marietta Daily-Journal: Lacrosse title game on tap

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Denver wins MLL championship in Kennesaw

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Pro lacrosse title game may help land Atlanta franchise

Lehigh Valley Live: Denver Outlaws win Major League Lacrosse title with help from Hunterdon Central grad Justin Pennington

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Two Rutgers Alumni Win MLL Championship

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Denver Outlaws MLL Championship Quotes

Denver Head Coach B.J. O’Hara

Opening Statement: “What a game. What a showcase for Major League Lacrosse. The two top teams in the league in a one-goal battle. I don’t think you could have drawn it up any better. Just a beautiful night.”

On being the only coach to win the MLL Championship with two teams: “That means I’m old. I’ve been around a while. I’m so happy for the Denver Outlaws organization. They do it right. I appreciate the confidence they had in me to take over this year. I inherited a great bunch of guys that were dedicated from day one to getting themselves to this game and hopefully get ourselves a trophy, and that’s exactly what they did.”

On John Grant, Jr.: “Well, that’s why we brought him to Denver in the offseason. He’s 5-5 now in MLL Championship games. Didn’t look so good there for a while – his record was going to stay. But he led the way on the offensive end, and then we had great performances at the other end by a really good defensive group and our goalkeeper. Anthony Kelly played on one leg and won us a lot of faceoffs. That’s what was able to get us back in the game was we had some possessions.”

On Denver’s comeback: “That wasn’t the game plan to get down early, I guarantee you that. We started to settle down a little bit on offense. We threw the ball away a lot early, and I think every time we turned it over in the first quarter it led to a goal at the other end. So we tried to make our possessions last a little longer, get everybody involved. We still had a little trouble getting it past John Galloway. He played a great game, and finally we had his number at the end and hit some big shots.”

On the two-point goal: “Some people who don’t know the MLL scoff at that [two-point] rule, but that’s what it can do. Such an exciting play. Jeremy Sieverts leads the league in that effort, and we’ve become used to seeing him do that. That was a huge one. Boy that was a huge one.”

Denver Attackman John Grant, Jr.

On being MVP in back-to-back Championships: “That doesn’t matter. I really wanted to help this team win. They deserve it. They’ve been so close for so many years and to finally get over that hump is something special for Mr. Bowlen all the way down to the guys who help with the towels. So this is a real big pivotal moment for this organization. And I hope there’s more to come from the Outlaws.”

On his performance: “I think I was playing pretty poorly in the first half. A lot of behind-the-backs that weren’t going in, and I was holding the ball a lot. At certain times I felt like I had a chance to help this team, and I’ve been here before, just used my experience. I tried to get the team rallying a bit. But what can I say? Our team stepped it up in the second half. Big plays from a lot of guys tonight, and we needed every man on this one. So it was a big win for us.”

On playing in Atlanta: “I’ve been playing since the very beginning of this league and this is one of the best venues I’ve ever played in. As far as the turf and the fans, it was almost like this place was built for a game like this. Two great teams played a great game, and these fans were on top of it. It was awesome. I’m glad I was here for it.”

Denver Goalie Jesse Schwartzman

On winning the Championship: “It means the world. We did this for Mr. Bowlen who is back home battling illness. He’s a tremendous owner. It’s a first-class organization from top to bottom. Unfortunately it took us eight years to do it, but it’s worth it, and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of this team. We fought all game, and we were down all game. Just the resilience and the confidence we have in each other. We stuck the course, and we won.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014


DENVER – The Denver Outlaws outscored the Rochester Rattlers 6-1 in the fourth quarter to win the franchise’s first MLL Championship. Drew Snider scored the game-winning goal with 56 seconds left in the game, to seal the 12-11 victory for the team and earn them the Steinfeld Trophy.

It was Denver’s fifth MLL Championship appearance in nine years as a franchise. The Outlaws are the only MLL franchise to make the playoffs in each year of existence.

John Grant Jr. was named the Coca Cola Championship Final MVP for his three-goal, four-point performance tonight.

Chris Bocklet started the scoring, netting a goal 19 seconds into the first quarter—the quickest goal in MLL Championship history since 2005, the earliest year statistical information was available for.

The Rattlers answered with five straight goals to close out the first quarter, and took a 5-1 lead into the second.

Domenic Sebastiani ended the scoring drought for Denver, to cut the Rochester lead to 5-2 early in the second quarter. Denver capitalized on a man-up opportunity after Rochester’s John Lade was called for pushing, as Bocklet netted his second goal of the night.

Junior continued the scoring for Denver, working the crease to sneak one by Rochester goalie John Galloway and cutting the Rochester lead to 6-4 heading into halftime.

Faceoff specialist Anthony Kelly was 8-12 (.667) in the first half, playing despite injuring his Achilles and missing the last two games before playoffs. He finished the game 14-25 (.560) on faceoffs.

Rochester scored two in the third to extend its lead to 8-4. Eric Law worked the crease, showing off some Junior-like moves, to net his first goal of the night and make it 8-5. Rochester answered with a goal of their own, but Sieverts found net to make it 9-6. Rochester added one more to end the third quarter and take a 10-6 lead into the final quarter of play.

Junior netted two goals early in the fourth, including his signature behind-the-back move, to cut Rochester’s lead to 10-8. On the team’s next offensive possession, Junior dished it off to Law in front of the goal for the team’s third goal in a row, to make it 10-9—the narrowest Rochester lead since early in the first quarter.

Rochester’s Dave Lawson netted a goal 5:18 into the fourth quarter to end the Denver scoring streak, and regain a two-goal lead.

Sieverts, who led the league in two-point goals (7) and game-winning goals (4) this season, netted a huge two-pointer from behind the arc to tie it up at 11-11 with 5:25 left in the game.

Drew Snider, who had been held scoreless throughout the game, took a huge shot from just inside the arc to give the Outlaws a 12-11 lead with 56 seconds left in the game—their first lead since early in the first quarter.

The Outlaws were able to stop the Rattlers from capitalizing on a Denver turnover, and seal the franchise’s first MLL Championship in nine years as a franchise.

Game Notes:
·        John Grant Jr. was named Coca Cola Championship Final MVP for his three-goal, four-point performance tonight.
·        Chris Bocklet’s first-quarter goal 19 seconds into the game was the fastest goal in MLL history since 2005, the first year stats with time-stamped goals were available.
·        Denver won its first MLL Championship in nine years as a franchise. It was the team’s fifth appearance in the championship game.

Live blog: MLL Champsionship

The Outlaws will be live blogging this evening's MLL Championship against the Rochester Rattlers. The game starts at 7 p.m. ET and can be watched live on CBS Sports Network.

1st quarter:
Chris Bocklet nets one 19 seconds into play--the quickest first goal in MLL Championship game history since '05 (no stats earlier than '05). 1-0 Denver.
Goal - Rochester. 1-1
Back-to-back goals for the Rattlers, to take a 2-1 lead.
Rochester scores again, 3-1.
4-1 Rochester lead with 3:35 left in the first quarter.
Rattlers score their fifth in a row, 5-1 lead.

2nd quarter:
Dom Sebastiani ends the scoring drought for Denver 5-2.
HUGE shot by Cam Holding, who is robbed by the pipes. 
Denver with a man-up opportunity after Rochester's Lade was called for pushing. 
Denver capitalizes on the man-up and Bocklet has his second goal of the night! 5-3 Rochester.
Rochester goal, 6-3. 
John Grant Jr. works the crease and nets one for Denver. Rochester challenged, but goal stands and the Outlaws cut the Rattlers lead to 6-4.


3rd quarter:
Rochester's Turri scores the first goal of the second half to take a 7-4 lead.
Rochester scores again to take a 8-4 lead.
Eric Law nets his first goal of the night, works the crease Junior-style to get one in. 8-5 Roch scores to go up 9-5.
Jeremy Sieverts with his first of the night to make it 9-6.
Roch goal, 10-6

4th quarter:
Junior starts the fourth-quarter scoring with an easy one. 10-7
Behind-the-back goal by Junior, and that's a hat trick for the 11-year MLL vet. 10-8.
Junior dishes it to Law for the team's third goal in a row. 10-9 Rochester. 
Rochester ends Denver's 3-goal scoring streak. 11-9
Sieverts with a two-point beauty to tie it up at 11-11.
Snider nets one to take a 12-11 lead with 56 seconds left.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Denver poised for Championship Game

By Simon Kaufman

DENVER — The Outlaws have been here before—four times in fact Denver has appeared in the MLL Championship Game—but it has never been able to walk away with the Steinfeld Cup.

This time, things are different.

This isn’t the Outlaws team that broke into the league in 2006 by finishing first in the then Western Conference before falling in the championship. It isn’t the Denver team from 2010 that dominated all season before being downed in the semifinals. Nor is it the squad from last year that finished with the league’s first perfect season before running out of steam in the playoffs.

This year’s Outlaws team had nothing come easy. Every win was fought for and every loss resulted in a lesson learned.

“Sometimes you need to win ugly and sometimes you need to lose ugly to really get an idea of what your team has inside,” Denver attackman John Grant Jr. said. “When you win so easily throughout the year, once you kind of hit a wall or hit some obstacle, it’s hard to figure out how to navigate around or over it.”

Grant knows a thing or two about what it takes to win an MLL Championship. The 11-year veteran has won all four Championship Games he has appeared in, including three against Denver.

Saturday’s contest, taking place at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., is a rematch of the 2008 Championship Game when the Rochester Rattlers edged out Denver to win it all.

But Denver head coach B.J. O’Hara insists that game has little to do with the upcoming one.

“There are very few people on either side that were involved in that game,” O’Hara said. “This is an entirely different scenario—two entirely different teams. It’s more of a rematch with the teams that played each other this season and split, and now we get a chance to play a third time.”

Earlier this season, the Outlaws cruised passed the Rattlers in their Week 4 game at home, but Rochester had the upper hand in the last contest when it hosted Denver at the end of June. The Outlaws are 5-5 against the Rattlers all time.

In the two games earlier this season, Grant scored a combined three goals and dished for seven assists against the Rattlers. Attackman Eric Law and midfielder Jeremy Sieverts also had success against Rochester this year, scoring a combined nine goals against them.

In net, Jesse Schwartzman saved 21-of-43 shots on goal from Rattlers players this year for a .488 save percentage against them.

On the other side of the field, Rochester has been led by its strong defense. The Rattlers gave up the fewest goals of any team in the league this season and goalie John Galloway has been dominant in the crease. Galloway has collected a league-best 10 wins and his 11.16 goals against average is also tops in the league. His .556 save percentage is second only to Schwartzman’s .560 mark on the year.

The Rattlers’ offense has excelled at sharing the ball and spreading the wealth. The Rattlers feature eight different players with at least 12 goals.

Attackman Mark Cockerton and midfielder Dave Lawson are the squad’s biggest scoring threats. The two have scored 24 and 23 goals, respectively.

Attackman Jordan Wolf as well as midfielders Justin Turri and Jordan MacIntosh have contributed on the offensive end as well with a combined 67 goals to go along with 36 assists on the season.

“Obviously we’re going to see their best. They’ve got a great coaching staff over there and they’ve got an excellent team—there are no weaknesses,” Grant said of Rochester. “It’s going to be hopefully just two teams going out there and trying to execute their game plan. I think the team that executes the most effectively is probably going to lift the title. That’s what we’re both going out to do—is try to execute.”

An Outlaws team that has had a year of triumphs and tribulations—and everything in between—is ready to hit the field with a title at stake.

“We’ve hit the gamut this year as far as getting blown out, blowing teams out and winning nail biters,” Grant said. “We’ve experienced every aspect that we’ve needed to. Now it truly is just doing your absolute best to put your time in, do your homework, and show up.”

Outlaws in the News

Here are some links to recent stories about the Denver Outlaws.

The Denver Post - John Grant Jr. gives Denver Outlaws winner's experience in title games
Inside Lacrosse - Devitte: MLL Championship Preview
Inside Lacrosse - Devitte: How the Rattlers, Outlaws Won
Inside Lacrosse - John Grant Jr.'s No-Look Goal in MLL Semi
Inside Lacrosse - Staff Debate: Who Should Win MLL MVP?
Lax Magazine - Grant, Pannell, Harrison in MLL MVP Mix
Lax Magazine - Familiar Storylines for Rochester-Denver MLL Championship
Lax Magazine - Sieverts Strikes Late to Lead Denver to MLL Finals
MLL - A Look Back: 2008 Championship
MLL - CHAMP PREVIEW: Denver at Rochester
MLL - News and Notes

The Outlaws face the Rochester Rattlers in the MLL Championship this Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Denver Outlaws MLL Championship Quotes


On the 2014 MLL Championship being a “rematch” of the 2008 MLL Championship between Denver and Rochester
“No (laughs), it’s definitely not a rematch. There are very few people on either side that were involved in that game. [attackman] John [Grant Jr.] was with Rochester then, I think maybe [goalie] Jesse [Schwartzman] and [defenseman] Lee Zink are the only ones left that were wearing the Denver uniform that day. This is an entirely different scenario. Two entirely different teams. It’s more of a rematch with the teams that played each other this season and split and now we get a chance to play a third time.”

On if the way he’s preparing the team for this weekend differs from the rest of the season
“No. It’s business as usual. The last thing you want to do is upset your routine. We always watch a lot of film. We have the ability to get clips to all of our guys via email, as I’m sure Rochester does too. We’ve had a chance to watch a number of their games. We watched our most recent games, that were all broken down component-by-component. I think in that regard they should be as well-prepared as ever.”

On the Championship being played at a neutral site
“Well, you know, I think the hope for both teams is that there’s a crowd that is engaged and excited and creates some energy in the stands. I think that’s something that we’re all hoping for. It was nice to have a home game but I think for the Championship game having a neutral site is probably the fair thing to do. We’re hoping we can win some of those fans over that maybe don’t know us so well and I’m sure Rochester feels the same way.”

On what he key matchup for Saturday is
“I think the team that can get the most points. It’s a game of runs, as we all know. Each team is going to have their moments. I think that the team that’s maybe struggling at one point during the game, if they can collect themselves and right the ship, so to speak, that’s going to be the key thing. I think take it back to last year, Charlotte came at us pretty hard in the semis. We expected that they would, they were playing well at the time. I didn’t think we handled it real well as a team. We panicked a little bit and dug ourselves an awfully big whole. We got back in it late, but it took a lot of energy to get back. We certainly want to avoid that kind of pattern.”

On veterans John Grant Jr. and Rochester’s Kevin Leveille and what Junior brings to the team
“Obviously [Junior and Rochester’s Kevin Leveille] are two of very finest left-handed attackman to have ever played in Major League Lacrosse. They play every different styles. John is able to do a lot in terms of scoring goals, but he also distributes the ball very well. John is a very creative player, he’s not a very traditional attackman. He has the Canadian box style that he uses—takes a little getting used to for the other guys because he’ll throw it behind his back, between the legs, and they have to be ready. But the biggest thing John had brought to us is that experience—championship experience—his leadership in the dressing room. He’s a lot of fun to be around. He’s got a real playful personality. But when it’s crunch time he knows when it’s time to get serious. I know that’s what we’ll get from him this week. He will be calm and reassuring to all the other guys that maybe haven’t been in this position as many times as he has.”

On Junior’s 7-point performance last week against New York
“First of all, it wasn’t easy for him. [New York Lizards defenseman] Steve Holmes did a great job on him and he played him hard. John’s teeth were rattling a few times on some of those checks that Holmes was laying on him. But he kept his poise. He wanted the ball at the end. He made that [game-winning] play to [midfielder Jeremy] Sieverts, all eyes were on him and that just makes it easier for the other guys. I guess we’ve just come to expect stuff like that form him. He’s done it so frequently throughout the years. We’re going to need him to make plays like that again this weekend. He’s got another tough assignment. We’ve just got to make sure that everyone else stays involved and we don’t get caught watching this one-on-one matchup. It all begins there, but we’ve got to get other guys involved to be able to create offense.”

On the team coming together this season
“We’ve got a lot of the same pieces that we’ve had for the last two or three years. Obviously we added Grant to the mix in place of [former Outlaw Brendan] Mundorf. Sieverts, [midfielder Drew] Snider, [midfielder Justin] Pennington, [attackman Eric] Law, [attackman Chris] Bocklet—they’ve been around a couple of years.  There wasn’t an entirely new cast. I think what a lot of people forget is we finished pretty high in the standings the last few years and some of these teams—I’m thinking Ohio and Rochester—they’ve been on the other side of it, the other end of the ladder. They’ve had really, really good drafts. My point is that everyone has gotten better. We think we’re better [than last year] right now, but obviously Rochester and Ohio in particular have had wonderful seasons with a lot of great, young guys they recently drafted. The league is getting seriously competitive. We’re just happy that we got ourselves where we are, because it wasn’t easy.”


On how he is approaching his fifth MLL Championship appearance
“I don’t think about the past. I don’t think about the future. I really am just focused on this weekend’s game. I’ve got a couple of games I’m kind of dealing with up here [in Canada], but I’m focused solely on the Rattlers and what my matchup is going to be. Like [Rattlers Head Coach Tim Soudan] ‘Soudo’ said, it’s no surprise who I am going to be playing. So I’m focusing on what I need to do to help my team win. I know each and every guy on the Outlaws is going the same thing right now.  It’s a unique opportunity this year with the new setup where you have a week to prepare, as opposed to sometimes less than 24 hours. I think you’re going to have a better Championship game than you have in the past just due to the fact that you’re going to see two fresh teams that are fully prepared and ready to battle.”

On his season in Denver playing for the Outlaws
“It’s been awesome. [General Manager Tony] Seaman and [Head Coach] B.J. [O’Hara] really wanted to get me—for obvious reasons, my experience. I’ve played for B.J. before, I won my first MLL Championship with the Rattlers under B.J.’s tutelage. So we’ve got experience and he knows the strength of my game and the weakness of my game. I felt more like me this summer just being able to play the kind of game that I’m accustomed to playing in. B.J. allowing me to do that has been kind of refreshing for me. I never wanted to come in and take over or anything like that. We have similar philosophies and the team welcomed me with open arms. It’s been a great season and I’m hoping we can finish it off or it won’t really matter.”

On working with some of the younger Denver Outlaws
“It’s been a fairly seamless transition. I’m pretty predictable in what I do—I’m mostly a draw-and-dump guy from behind. The benefit I have is I throw the ball to these shooters and they put the ball in the net at a pretty high clip. If you look at the shooting percentages, they’re all remarkably high—some of the highest. I think [attackman Eric] Law is at 50 percent. It makes my job pretty easy to feed to guys that put the ball in the net that frequently. So it’s been a blessing for me to be able to hit snipers like that. I’ve been fortunate enough at times to get myself—teams aren’t able to fly as easily as they had before because you can’t leave your assignment or you’re going to get the ball scooped into the back of the net. We’ve got a pretty potent offense here in the Mile High City, I’m just very fortunate to be part of it.”

On facing the Rochester Rattlers for the third time this season
“Obviously we’re going to see their best. They’ve got a great coaching staff over there and they’ve got an excellent team—there are no weaknesses. Like I said, travel isn’t—Coach Soudan hit the nail on the head—this league is tough. You don’t get to get in there three days before and settle in. Sometimes guys are coming from the airport and throwing their gear on and playing. There is a lot of stuff that goes on. I know it’s tough getting out there to the west coast, so that’s our advantage out there. Equally, we had some challenges ourselves up in Rochester. I know a lot of guys struggled in travel. I know myself, I played three games in four games. It’s going to be hopefully just two teams going out there and trying to execute their game plan. I think the team that executes the most effectively is probably going to lift the title. That’s what we’re both going out to do—is try to execute.”

On it seeming like he and the team are playing their best ball together at this point of the season
“That’s kind of what you hope for—right? I know Denver in the past has had some perfect seasons. Sometimes you need to win ugly and sometimes you need to lose ugly to really get an idea of what your team has inside. When you win so easily throughout the year, once you kind of hit a wall or hit some obstacle, it’s hard to figure out how to navigate around or over it. We’ve hit the gamut this year as far as getting blown out, blowing teams out and winning nail biters. We’ve experienced every aspect that we’ve needed to. Now it truly is just doing your absolute best to put your time in, do your homework, and show up in Atlanta and put it on them. I know they’re going to do the same thing. It’s purely it’s a one-game take all. Whoever can kind of just put it together and seriously just execute the game plan. We all know what we need to do. They’re going the same thing over there. It’s just time to put it all on the line. You play for one game and you’ve got 60 minutes to do it. Hopefully that’s us, but I’m sure they’re thinking the same thing.”

On if he approaches the Championship any differently from other games
“I don’t necessarily think that. I try to play every game like it’s a Championship. That’s kind of how I have to be at my age. If I take one game off it could be ugly and it could be my last. I play every one that way and I think that’s the mentality I’ve always had. To me, the championship game is the same as the third game of the season. I go out and I try to play like it’s my very last game. That’s just the way I’ve told and kind of tried to help the younger guys along. If you play every game like it’s the championship game, then the championship game is just another game. That’s what I’m trying to say—go out, execute your game plan, and have fun. You’re getting to do something you love doing and there’s no need to put any added pressure on it. I know there is going to be some [added pressure] and some of the younger guys are going to feel the jitters, but truly it’s the same thing you’ve done in preseason and the same thing you played in May. You’ve just got to go out and play.”

On having a week to prepare between the semifinal games and Championship now

“I think in the past and even last year it helped me because I’m so used to playing so many games in the summer. The team that we [used to] play in the Championship would be tired from the day before. But I’m coming up against a pretty big dude who has got a week off. I played Tuesday and I play again Thursday. I think for me, playing more seems to help me. Weeks off and longs period off, my body seems to fold up on me. So I need to keep playing for me to stay fresh. That seems to be some uncanny way for me to continue to do this thing. Like I said, I’m focused on my game Thursday and as soon as that thing is over at 9:30-10, then it’s purely time to get focused on the field game. I’ve been able to do this for a long time—to compartmentalize the two—hopefully everything works out.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Denver Outlaws 2014 MLL Championship Notes

The Denver Outlaws’ 2014 MLL Championship notes are now available for downloadfrom the team website or by clicking the image below. The 111-page release includes game information, statistical charts, notes of interest, playoff notes and statistics, team rosters, player/coach biographies, and boxscores leading up to Denver’s fifth MLL Championship appearance. Denver takes on the Rochester Rattlers with the Steinfeld Cup on the line this Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. EDT at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. 

Bid on Orange Jersey and Shorts

These authentic orange jerseys and shorts were created specifically for the Denver Outlaws 2014 home semi-final playoff game on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The jersey and shorts are team-issued, but unworn and brand new. Size LARGE. Extremely rare and was made available to the players only.

The jersey number is 18 on the front and back. CUSTOM JERSEY as the winner can have their own custom name stitched on the back of it.

Bid on the jersey and shorts (separately) on eBay here. Auction ends August 28, 2014.