Outlaws will defend their title, punch ticket to MLL Championship Game

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August 12, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Rochester Rattlers @ Denver Outlaws at Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Photography Credit: Isaiah Downing

The Denver Outlaws clinched a berth in the Major League Lacrosse Championship Game for the seventh time with a 15-8 victory over the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday at the University of Denver’s Peter Barton Stadium.

Denver will play the winner of tonight’s matchup between the Ohio Machine and Florida Launch on Saturday at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

The defending-champion Outlaws will appear in the league’s final game for the third time in four years under Head Coach B.J. O’Hara. Denver defeated Ohio 19-18 in last year’s championship game.

“When you start the season, the ultimate goal is to win the championship,” O’Hara said. “We’ve got ourselves there with a great group of veterans, guys who have been there. We’ve got a great group of rookies who will be making their first trip. Hopefully we can put it all together into a winning formula.”

No team has appeared in more MLL Championships than Denver as the Outlaws have made the final game in seven of 12 seasons of existence. Denver has won the last two championship games (2014, ’16) they have played after finishing as league runner-ups four times (2006, ’08-09, 2013).

The Outlaws were paced by 2016 MLL Championship Game MVP Eric Law’s four points (3 G, 1 A). Romar Dennis, Mike Bocklet, Wes Berg and Michael Simon tallied two goals apiece.

On the defensive end, goalie Jack Kelly stopped 16-of-20 shots on goal (80.0 pct.) and collected three ground balls. Defensemen Finn Sullivan and Matt Bocklet recorded four and five ground balls, respectively, to lead a stout defensive effort.

Denver led 3-2 after the first quarter despite trailing 2-0 within the first five minutes of action. The Outlaws extended the lead to 6-3 before the half, highlighted by Law’s second goal of the game with 2.3 seconds on the clock.

Following a 53-minute weather delay, Denver and Rochester each scored one goal in the third quarter. Leading 7-4 heading into the final frame, the Outlaws opened the quarter with eight consecutive goals to increase the lead to 15-4.

Featured Image Credit: Major League Lacrosse, Pretty Instant

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