(Photo Courtesy of Denver Outlaws)
In an absolute offensive shootout, the Denver Outlaws came back from a 7-3 deficit at the end of the first to defeat the Boston Cannons and punch their ticket to the MLL championship game on Sunday.
John Grant Jr. really lifted Denver in this one, netting five goals in the win. Zach Currier also had five points (3G/2A) and Chris Aslanian tallied five points (4G/1A). In net, Dillon Ward made 10 saves off of 24 shots on goal.
Cal Dearth led Boston with four goals while Zed Williams also had five points (4G/1A). Nick Marrocco made 15 saves off of 32 shots on goal to help anchor the Boston defense.
Boston started the game with an early two-goal run, including a two-pointer in transition from Ryland Rees, to get out to an early 3-0 lead. John Grant Jr. got Denver on the board just a few minutes later, but Boston was able to keep their offensive juices flowing, taking a 7-3 lead into the second.
Zed Williams scored two straight to open the second quarter and stretch Boston’s run to three goals, But Chris Aslanian was able to answer quickly for Denver. The Outlaws used a three-goal run midway through the second, cutting the Boston lead to 10-7.
The second quarter ended with plenty of fireworks and a lot of physical play. as each team just continued to answer each other, finding the back of the net on what seemed like every possession. Mark Cockerton scored with just one second left in the half to put Boston up 13-10 heading into the half.
Defensive play picked up early in the third with both defenses getting more aggressive by the minute, limiting the opposing offense. With the heightened aggression, Boston saw midfielders Kyle Denhoff and Kyle Jackson leave the game with apparent upper-body injuries after two separate big hits.
Boston got on their offense going first in the third quarter with Cal Dearth finishing in transition with just under nine minutes in the quarter. Denver finished the third strong with a four-goal run that included three straight from John Grant Jr. to tie things up at 14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both squads traded goals early in the the fourth with Cal Dearth scoring for Boston and John Grant Jr. scoring for Denver, once again, to tie things up at 15. A power-play goal from Chris Aslanian and a diving goal from Zach Currier closed this one out as the Denver Outlaws hung on down the stretch and sealed the 17-15 win.