In the 2019 MLL season opener the Denver Outlaws took down the New York Lizards 11-9 on the road. The Outlaws used a big third quarter performance to help get ahead and secure the win over the Lizards. While both offenses were on display early on, it was the goalies that really made difference down the stretch making save after save.
Denver was led by rookies Brendan Kavanagh with 4 points (2G,2A) and Chris Aslanian with 3 points (2G,1A). John Grant Jr. also had 2 points (1G,1A) in his return to pro lacrosse after retiring in 2016. In cage Dillon Ward made 19 saves, helping to lead the way for the Outlaws.
New York was led by Mark Matthews who tallied 4 points (2G,2A). Dylan Molloy and Kevin Crowley both had 2 points (1G,1A) while Rob Pannell dished out just two assist on the night. In cage for the Lizards Austin Kaut made 11 saves, anchoring that New York defense.
Denver got things started quick with John Grant Jr. scoring just minutes into the game. Ryan Lee scored a few minutes later t put Denver up 2-0 early on. With things tied at 2 late in the first Nick Galasso scored off a rebound to give New York a 3-2 lead heading into the second.
Dylan Molloy put New York up 4-2 early on in the second, scoring is first goal as a Lizard. After that the defense on both ends really stepped up, only allowing two combined goals through the rest of the half.
With New York leading 5-3 heading into the third, Denver really stepped up on both ends. The Outlaws defense really limited the Lizards offense, continuing to shutdown Rob Pannell and the New York attack.
While goalie Dillon Ward and the Denver defense were getting hot so was the offense on the other end. Tim Barber got the Outlaws offense going early on, starting a three-goal run that put Denver up 6-5 early in the third. Kevin McNally finally broke the silence, getting New York going again.
While the end of third was more back-and-forth, the Outlaws were able to take a 10-8 lead into the fourth quarter. It was all New York in the fourth as they unloaded. However, late in the game Dillon Ward came up with multiple huge saves, limiting the Lizards offense from even sniffing overtime with just a minute left in regulation.
Ryan Lee put in the dagger, scoring on an open net with 9 seconds left in the fourth to secure the 11-9 win for the Outlaws.