HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — For just the second time all year – and second week in a row – the Outlaws faced a second-half deficit.
But just as they did IN Week 12 vs. Chesapeake, the Outlaws used a fourth-quarter surge to take the lead over the New York Lizards and never look back on their way to another victory.
The 13-10 win marked the 13th of the season for Denver, which sets a new Major League Lacrosse record for most victories in a season. Denver has already locked up the league’s winningest season in terms of win percentage.
The Lizards jumped on the board first with an unassisted tally by Kevin Unterstein 3:12 into the game. The teams traded goals throughout the first frame with Justin Pennington and Jeremy Sieverts scoring for Denver and Jo-Jo Marasco and Stephen Mock joining Unterstein in the stat sheet for New York.
Denver got back-to-back scores from Chris Bocklet and Sieverts, each of whom would finish with a hat trick, to open the second stanza and give the Outlaws their first lead of the game at 4-3.
Rob Pannell converted an Outlaws turnover into an open-net goal to knot the game at 4-4 at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter.
Denver regained the edge on a Zack Greer goal off the ensuing faceoff, but Marasco scored his second of the game to tie the game once again at the 9:09 mark.
Sieverts netted his third of the game to once again put the Outlaws ahead, but David Earl found the back of the net with six seconds left in the first half to send the game into the intermission deadlocked at 6-6.
New York scored a pair of goals 39 seconds apart to give the Lizards three tallies in just 45 seconds of game time and open a two-goal lead. New York’s two-goal lead tied the largest second-half advantage an opponent has held against the Outlaws this season.
Chris Bocklet, who earned Player of the Game honors for the third time this season, got his second goal of the night with an assist from Pennington to cut the Lizards’ lead to one at 8-7.
Off the next faceoff, the Bocklet brothers kept it in the family to tie the game once again. Matt Bocklet scooped up the ground ball on the faceoff and fed Chris in the offensive zone. Chris then passed it back to a cutting Matt, who buried his second goal of the year.
While there have been a few goals during the two siblings’ time together on the Outlaws where the defenseman, Matt, has assisted the attackman, Chris, this was the first time that Chris has assisted on one of Matt’s goals.
Marasco and Drew Snider traded tallies to end the quarter, sending the game into the final frame tied at 9-9.
After leading going into the fourth quarter for the first 11 games of the season, Denver has found itself tied going into the fourth quarter in each of the past two weeks. Just as they did a week ago, the Outlaws went on a run to take a lead that they never relinquished.
Pennington took just 25 seconds to score off the opening faceoff, then Terry Kimener and Chris Bocklet found the back of the net to give Denver a three-goal lead that represented the largest advantage for either team.
Earl scored with 5:19 left, but a goal from Eric Law with just under two minutes to play sealed the MLL-record 19th-consecutive regular-season victory for the Outlaws.
Denver will play its final chapter in its quest for the league’s first undefeated season next weekend at Hamilton. That game faces off at 3 p.m. EDT at Ron Joyce Stadium.
The Outlaws have already clinched the MLL’s top playoff seed for Championship Weekend presented by smartlink. Denver will play the league’s No. 4 seed at 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 24 at PPL Park in Philadelphia.
- Chris Bocklet, who earned his third Player-of-the-Game Award this season (5th career), scored three goals to increase his MLL lead to 38.
- Bocklet took over the MLL lead, becoming the first player in the league to reach the 50-point mark this season.
- Bocklet’s 50 points are the second-most in Outlaws history (Mundorf, 59, 2012) and his 38 goals tie the club record (Brown, 2006).
- Matt Bocklet picked up four ground balls to increase his season total to 69, which ranks fifth in the league and represent the third-most in team history (most by a non-faceoff man).
- While the Bocklet brothers have combined for an assist and goal before, it has always been defenseman Matt Bocklet with the assist on attackman Chris Bocklet’s goal. This week, they reversed roles as Matt executed a give-and-go after picking up a loose ball from a faceoff, passing to Chris and then getting it back for a score in the third quarter.
- Anthony Kelly won four faceoffs to set a team record with 189 faceoff wins on the season.
- Denver’s win marked its 19th regular-season victory in a row dating back to last season, extending the MLL record that the Outlaws have set in that category.
- The Outlaws’ 13th win of the season establishes a new league record for most victories in a single season.
- At 13-0, the Outlaws have clinched the league’s best regular-season win percentage for a single season. Even if Denver loses in the regular-season finale next week, its record would be 13-1 (.929 pct.), which would top the previous record (10-2, .833 pct., four teams).