With back-to-back games going into overtime, the New York Lizards were starting to feel fatigue as they traveled to Denver to take on the Outlaws. That fatigue was their downfall, as the Outlaws handed the Lizards a 20-16 loss on Friday.
Despite Paul Rabil scoring the first goal of the game for the Lizards, it was the Outlaws who gained momentum and went on a three-goal run with Nick Ossello, Eric Law, and John Grant. The Lizards were able to tie the game at 3 with goals from Jake Tripucka and Rabil, but a late goal by Jeremy Sleverts gave the Outlaws the 4-3 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter.
The second quarter was the pivotal moment in the game. The Outlaws picked up where they left off in the first quarter and went on another run, this time a four-goal run led by Drew Snider, who scored two of the goals, and Grant and Law. Bailey Tills and grant added two more goals to the Outlaws offensive onslaught while the Lizards could only score three goals, credited to Dave Lawson, Rob Pannell, and Matt Gibson. The Outlaws extended their lead to 10-6 going into halftime.
For the entire second half, both teams were evenly matched, which wasn’t a good thing for the Lizards. Both the Lizards and Outlaws scored five goals in the third quarter, with Sleverts scoring a two-point goal for the Outlaws and Steve DeNapoli scoring the Lizards’ two-point goal. For the Lizards, Rabil, Gibson, Pannell, and Ryan who also scored goals in the third quarter. For the Outlaws, it was Tills, Law, Ossello, and Wes Berg who also contributed to the offense, and the difference remained at four goals, 16-12.
In the fourth quarter, it was a different strategy played by both teams, yet they were still evenly matched. The Outlaws opted to let Berg lead the offense, and he did exactly that, adding three more goals to his stat line. Thomas Kelly also made a contribution to the offense with a goal of his own. For the Lizards, they chose to spread the ball out and take more risks. Kevin Unterstein and Gibson scored a goal each, then Lawson tried to get his team back within striking distance with the team’s second two-point goal, but it wasn’t enough, and the Lizards left Denver with their heads down after a 20-16 loss.
Despite the loss, which now puts their record at 6-2, the Lizards remain atop the standings just .5 games ahead the Machine. For the Outlaws, they improve to 3-6 on what has been an uncharacteristically dismal season. The Lizards will continue their road trip as they head to Chesapeake to take on the Bayhawks. That’ll be New York’s last game before All-Star weekend in Orange County, California the following weekend.