The Rochester Rattlers rebounded from their season opening 153 loss to the Boston Cannons in Week One by upsetting the previously unbeaten Bayhawks in Chesapeake 12-8 on Saturday, May12th in Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Rattlers 2011 MVP Ned Crotty scored a hat trick in his 2012 debut with the team, and back-up goalie Mike Gabel made 17 second half saves to secure the Rattlers first win of the season.
“We did a lot of work as a franchise to make this team better in 2012.” Rattlers head coach Tim Soudan said. “We had six new players on the roster this weekend and wanted to go out and show people that we were better than we were in Week One.”
The Rattlers opened the game with a 4-0 run in the first quarter. Veteran M Matt Striebel opened the scoring with a goal through the five hole of Bayhawks goalie Joey Kemp to give the Rattlers a 1-0 lead 1:47 seconds into the game. SSDM Steve DeNapoli picked up a Bayhawks turnover and netted a transition goal at the 10:46 mark, and then A Steven Boyle found Striebel outside the two-point arc for a marker to give the Rattlers a 4-0 lead with 2:46 left in the first quarter.
Chesapeake responded with two goals in the last minute of the half to cut the Rattlers lead in half. FO Adam Rand ran up the field and scored an unassisted goal and then set up M Steven Brooks for his first marker of the game to cut the Rattlers lead to 4-2 with 0:06 left in the first quarter.
The Rattlers jumped out to an early lead in their Week One visit to Boston only to see the Cannons rally with a long scoring run that they failed to answer. In Week Three Crotty, the Rattlers only 2011 All-MLL selection stopped the Bayhawks two goal run by scoring the first two goals of the second quarter to give the Rattlers a 6-2 lead with 6:38 left in the first half. The Rattlers managed the game well and limited the Bayhawks chances in the second quarter. A Ben Rubeor scored late in the quarter for the Bayhawks to cut the Rattlers lead to 6-3 at the half.
The Rattlers opened the second half on another 4-0 run to give them their biggest lead of the game. It only took the Rattlers 0:22 to open the scoring as DeNapoli hit a transition goal. Boyle scored his first goal of the game off an assist from M Jeff Colburn and D Tom Montelli hit a two point marker halfway through the third quarter to give the Rattlers their largest lead of the night at 10-4.
Rochester Rattlers back-up goalie Mike Gabel started the first two games of the 2011 season before being replaced by rookie sensation John Galloway for the last ten games of the season. Galloway won the 2011 Rattler Rookie of the Year award and was the incumbent starter entering the 2012 season. Although Gabel finished the last 15 minutes of the Rattlers blowout loss to the Cannons, Galloway was expected to start Week Three against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. When Galloway could not start the game Gabel was thrust into the starting role and he responded in the second half.
After the Rattlers took a 10-4 lead the undefeated Bayhawks began to mount a furious comeback. Gabel was strong in net and made eight third quarter saves to preserve the Rattlers six point advantage until Brooks netted a two-point marker with 1:05 left in the third quarter to cut the Rattlers lead to 10:6.
Crotty responded by completing his hat trick to start the fourth quarter, but when M Kyle Dixon hit a two-point marker with 5:41 left in the game it cut the Rattlers lead to 11-8. The Rattlers were able to rely on Gabel once again in the fourth quarter as he made nine saves to protect Rochester’s fragile lead. When rookie M Roy Lang scored his first professional goal with one minute left in the game it gave the Rattlers their first win of the season and the Bayhawks their first loss.
“Ned scored a hat trick, but his goals were huge because they came at key times in the game.” Soudan said. “John Lade and rookie Will Koshansky came in and helped us on defense, and (Jeff) Colburn and Roy (Lang) made us more dangerous in the midfield. This is a step in the right direction for us, but we want to focus on keeping the momentum going next week in Ohio.”
The Rochester Rattlers visit the Ohio Machine (0-2) on Saturday, May19th at 8PM (EDT). The game can be seen live on ESPN3.
The fully staffed Rochester Rattlers roster will get a rematch with the Cannons in their home opener in Sahlen’s Stadium on Friday, June 1
st at 7PM. Tickets are on sale by calling 585.454.5424 or visiting rochesterrattlers.com.