Friday, May 31, 2013

Outlaws Blast Cannons En Route to 5-0 Record

DENVER --  The Denver Outlaws had never defeated the Boston Cannons in the Mile High City.

Until Friday night.

The team reversed that trend with authority, handing the Cannons a 24-14 defeat with the help of six multiple-goal performances and four two-point goals to tie the second-highest scoring output in franchise history.

Since the team's inception in 2006, Denver dropped the first five games that it played against Boston at home. Friday's victory lifted the Outlaws to 5-0, giving them a franchise-record 11th consecutive regular-season win. The Cannons, who fell to the Outlaws on May 11 in Boston, dropped to 1-4 with the loss.

“[Beating the Cannons at home] is exciting,” Zack Greer said. “[It’s] obviously nice to check that one off. If you don’t win, then you hear about it again.”

Denver's two-point goals accounted for one-third of the team's 24 points and matched a club record for a single game. Jeremy Sieverts netted two, and Justin Turri and Drew Snider chipped in one apiece. 

“When you can hit those shots, it really changes the game,” Snider said. “It’s not only a momentum swing, but it also puts you up by two. If you’re in a deficit, those twos can really help you out.”

Despite winning fewer than 50 percent of the faceoffs for the first time all season, the Outlaws didn’t face a deficit after trailing 1-0 early in the contest. They compensated for their limited success at the faceoff X with a balanced scoring effort and unselfish play. Snider led the way with five goals, and Greer, Sieverts and Brendan Mundorf each completed a hat trick.

“The ball seemed to find me in good spots on the field, and luckily I was able to put them away,” Snider said.

The Cannons’ Brent Adams kicked off the scoring 1:39 into the game, but the Outlaws responded with a 6-0 run and took a 6-1 lead that they would not relinquish. 

Boston clawed its way back into the contest, closing out the first quarter with four consecutive goals—including two from Matt Poskay—to narrow Denver's advantage to one.

The Outlaws ended their 7:50 scoring drought early in the second period and held the Cannons scoreless for the first 11:41. Mundorf put Denver on the scoreboard just over a minute into the quarter, and Greer followed that up with back-to-back tallies to extend the Outlaws’ lead to 8-5. Mike Stone scored with 3:19 remaining in the half to bring Boston within two goals, but a two-pointer from Turri gave Denver an 11-6 advantage at the break.  

Snider paced the Outlaws' offense in the third quarter, scoring three of the team’s seven third-period points. The Cannons registered five tallies in that span, pulling within striking distance. They trailed 16-11 heading into the final period.

In the fourth quarter, Denver recorded six points to break the game open. Two-point goals accounted for four of those points. Sieverts’ second two-pointer, which came in the final period, marked his third of the season. Sieverts, who is tied for the league lead in that category, posted the ninth multiple two-point goal performance in Outlaws' annals.

“Two-pointers are unique [to the MLL],” he said. “They’re a big momentum thing, and it was nice to have a couple fall for me.”

With the win, Denver continues its reign atop the league standings.

“It’s a great win,” Outlaws Head Coach Jim Stagnitta said. “[Getting] two on Boston and [moving] to 5-0 puts us another step closer to what our goal is ultimately—to get to that final four.”

--Lopa Rahman

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