New York returns home after a difficult four game road trip that potentially dropped them out of the playoff race. Now playing for pride, and possibly jobs, the Lizards will host the Rattlers Saturday night at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead.
Sitting at 3-8, head coach Joe Spallina’s squad has not been on the same wave length. Their last outing in saw them drop a 13-11 decision in Charlotte. The usual reoccurring issues on offense surfaced through most of the contest: unforced turnovers, lack of creativity, not enough chances. Only a late fourth quarter push that nearly saw New York steal a road victory made it a close game.
Rob Pannell once again led the team with three goals and two assists. Despite the best efforts of goaltender Drew Adams (18 saves) and FOGO Greg Gurenlian (17-22), New York has failed to play a complete game on both ends of the field. Dissapointed by his team’s performance, Spallina said that some players might be playing for their jobs.
Meanwhile, Rochester hopes to regroup after back to back loses to Hamilton and Denver. The Rattlers have been competitive throughout the season, but have failed to string together a run to catapult them into a playoff spot. Last week, Rochester fell at home to first place Denver.
The last time these two teams met in week nine, the Rattlers earned the 13-10 win over the Lizards. Kevin Leveille (3g, 2a) and Dave Lawson (2g, 3a) led the way for Rochester. Rob Pannell recorded five points and one assists in the loss for New York.
Saturdays match is the first of three home games to end the season for New York. This weekend, the Lizards will be honoring alumni of the 2003 MLL Champions Long Island Lizards Team.