ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rattlers became the first team to clinch a berth in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs Saturday, pulling away in the fourth quarter to beat the Charlotte Hounds 13-9.
Rookie Jordan Wolf, the No. 2 overall pick in last January’s MLL collegiate draft, scored five goals and added two assists for the Rattlers (9-3), who remained undefeated at Sahlen’s Stadium by winning their fifth consecutive game.
The win also gave Rochester the outright lead in the league standings, aided in part by the Denver Outlaws’ 23-22 overtime loss to the Ohio Machine on Saturday. The Outlaws – who also clinched a playoff berth despite the loss – are now 8-4, one game behind the Rattlers.
Three players – Matt Danowski, Mike Sawyer and Jake Tripucka – had two goals each for the Hounds (4-8), who saw their fading playoff hopes dashed with their third straight loss. Charlotte also remains winless on the road, the only MLL club to do so this season.
The two teams had battled to a 6-6 halftime tie, and to an 8-8 tie on Danowski’s goal with 57 seconds left in the third quarter. But Wolf put Rochester back in the lead with his fourth goal of the match with five seconds remaining in the quarter.
Wolf would score his fifth goal with 13:39 left in the fourth quarter, kicking off a run that saw the Rattlers outscore the Hounds 4-1 in the final period. Kevin Leveille scored both of his goals during Rochester’s fourth-quarter run, with rookie Mark Cockerton adding one of his two goals.
Dave Lawson also had two goals for the Rattlers, with Justin Turri and Jordan MacIntosh scoring one goal each.
Mike Chanenchuk, John Haus and Ryan Young had one goal each for Charlotte.
John Galloway had 10 saves in goal for Rochester, while Hounds goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman made 13 saves.