The New York Lizards dominated the first half, but in the end, the Denver Outlaws dominated in the quarter that mattered most, the fourth quarter, and scored the final goal in overtime to end their season with a 15-14 win and finish with a record of 7-7.
Goals were common for the Lizards in the first half. The team got contributions from a lot of different players. Leading the way was Matt Gibson and Tommy Palasek, each scoring three goals in the first half, two of which came in the first quarter. While Rob Pannell didn’t score as much as Gibson or Palasek, he did play a big factor in the offense, adding a goal and three assists. The Lizards received other one-goal contributions from Paul Rabil, Chris LaPierre, Kyle Hartzell, and JoJo Marasco to end the first half ahead of the Outlaws 11-6.
So how could the Lizards manage to blow such a lead in the second half? One of the reasons was the outstanding play by Player of the Game recipient Drew Snider and Michael Bocklet. After a sluggish third quarter that only saw two goals, one from Rabil and one from Domenic Sebastiani, the fourth quarter opened with Bocklet firing the ball into the net. Bocklet added two more goals later in the fourth quarter to round out a three-goal night. In the first half, Snider contributed two of the Outlaws’ six goals in the first half. Snider picked up where he left off in the first half by scoring a power play goal following Bocklet’s opening-goal. After Gibson added his fourth goal of the night and Marasco added his second, Snider gave momentum back to the Outlaws by scoring his fourth goal of the evening. With the game tied at the end of the fourth, the game headed to overtime and Snider scorched the ball past Drew Adams for his fifth goal of the night and claiming the final victory of the season for Denver.
While the season is over the Outlaws, the Lizards will continue their quest for their third Steinfeld Cup, first since 2003. They are the favorites to win, taking home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Good luck to the New York Lizards and all the teams in the playoffs.