On Saturday the Long Island Lizards head to Rochester to take on the Rattlers in a very important game for both teams. The Rattlers need a win in order to be at the .500 mark, while the Lizards hope to remain in second place in the league. If the Rattlers can get a win, theyâ€™ll be neck and neck with the Outlaws for the final playoff spot with only a few weeks remaining. The Lizards, who are sitting at second place, hope to extend their current winning streak to five games with a win over the Rattlers. Both teams desperately need this win, so watch for a high scoring game.
Both teams have a young, fresh attack corps. Tommy Palasek for the Lizards is having a good season so far, including a Rookie of the Week Award. They have an All-Star in Matt Gibson, who is their leading attackman with 20 points so far. The Lizards also have great scoring power in Grant Catalino and Ryan Young who have 15 and 13 points respectively. Unfortunately for the Rattlers, Ned Crotty hasnâ€™t played since game 5, although they hope to have him back anytime now. Without Crotty, the Rattlers are carried by Kevin Leveille, Jay Card and Steven Boyle, each of whom can score in a hurry.
Brian Langtry and Max Siebald are Long Islandâ€™s two highest scorers going into this game. Both players are having great seasons, with 24 and 21 points respectively. This midfield can put up big points, and if Steven Peyser can step up and get some points, the Lizards have a very dangerous midfield line. For Rochester, Jordan MacIntosh is having a great season. He was the MLL Player of the Week for his 6 point performance in their last game. The Rattlers also picked up Rob Rotanz this week who could be a huge asset for this midfield group. Accompany those two guys with Matt Striebel, Brad Ross and Roy Lang and the Rattlers have a highly skilled midfield.
For the Lizards, Greg Gurenlian has been one of the best FO guys since joining the league. This season he has won 117 of 192 which is a ridiculous .609 percentage. The Rattlers split action between Craig Bunker (40 out of 104) and Tim Fallon (42 out of 87), neither of whom are at Gurenlianâ€™s level.
Long Island brings Brian Karalunas who is one of the best young defenders in the MLL right now. The Lizards also bring Chris Passavia who is another bright spot for this defense. Rochester has Joel White who is hands down one of the best defenders in the MLL. Alongside Steve DeNapoli, this can be a scary defense. White has 22 groundballs through 4 games so far which is a ridiculous number. DeNapoli is right behind him with 18 groundballs.
Both teams bring great goalies into this matchup. The Lizards bring Drew Adams who has been on fire the last few weeks. He has a .552 save percentage, but stats donâ€™t show his play. He has made some fantastic saves and kept the Lizards in a lot of their games. The Rattlers have John Galloway who has also been playing great recently. He has only a .490 save percentage so far this season, but again, the numbers donâ€™t tell the whole story. Galloway has been facing a lot of shots per game the last few weeks and really needs his defense to take some of the load off him. If they can do that, his save percentage will sky rocket.