Mile High Sports

Denver Outlaws claim third MLL championship in franchise history

Aug 20, 2016; Kennesaw, GA, USA; Denver Outlaws XXX against the Ohio Machine in the xxx half of the Major League Lacrosse Championship game at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis

The Denver Outlaws have done it again. After starting the season 1-4 and storming back to qualify for the 2018 MLL Playoffs, the Outlaws defeated the Dallas Rattlers, 16-12 to claim its third Steinfeld Trophy in the franchise’s history.

This was the third consecutive year that the Outlaws have qualified for the championship game. The Outlaws have previously won the Steinfeld Trophy in 2014 and 2016.

Leading the charge offensively for the Outlaws was attackman and Championship game MVP Matt Kavanagh who recorded nine points (four goals, five assists) in the victory.

Despite being injured, MLL Rookie of the year and Outlaws attackman Chris Cloutier scored two goals in his first championship game appearance.

Outlaws attackman Kylor Bellistri (four points) and midfielder Zach Currier (three points) continued their playoff contributions with multi-point performances of their own.

Appearing in his first championship game appearance, Outlaw’s faceoff specialist Max Adler won 15-of-28 faceoffs and Outlaws goaltender Dillon Ward recorded 16 saves in the victory.

Recap

As predicted, this game was going to be filled with fireworks with plenty of goals coming from both teams. Things did not take long to get going, as the Outlaws opened up on a three-goal scoring run to open up the first quarter. Dallas responded with a four-goal scoring run of their own to retake the lead, but the Outlaws recorded two goals to close out the first quarter with a 5-4 lead.

Starting off the second quarter, Dallas outscored the Outlaws with a 5-1 scoring run to retake the lead. The Outlaws finished off the second quarter with a four-goal scoring run of their own, with two goals coming from Outlaws midfielder Mikie Schlosser, to take the 10-9 lead into halftime.

To kick off the third quarter, the Outlaws defense locked down the Rattlers offensive chances, limiting them to only two goals in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Outlaws’ offense began the quarter with a three-goal scoring run, including a highlight reel goal from Cloutier, and a solo goal from Bellistri to help the Outlaws take a 14-11 lead into the final quarter.

With the Steinfeld Trophy on the line, both teams locked up on their defense in the fourth quarter as only three goals occurred in the quarter. Kavanagh recorded the quarter-opening goal two minutes into the fourth, only to be followed by a goal from Rattlers attackman Ty Thompson in return.

Closing out the game, Kavanagh recorded his fourth goal of the night, securing the Steinfeld Trophy for the Outlaws for the third title in the past five seasons.

Following the victory, it was announced on Lax Sports Network that longtime Outlaw defender Matt Bocklet will be retiring from the MLL. Bocklet, 32, was drafted by Washington in the 2008 MLL Collegiate Draft and came to Denver in the middle of the 2009 season where he would spend 11 years with the team and claiming three MLL titles.