Hempstead Comes Alive; Lizards make the playoffs with win and in scenario
Saturday night could have been the end of a very stressful and inconsistent effort all season. Instead, it was the beginning of a new season for the New York Lizards and a celebration of Rob Pannell, who broke his own MLL record of 74 points with a seven goal, two assist effort to boost his numbers up to 75 points.
It was obviously a much needed win for the Lizards, who at the beginning of the season were floundering and played .500 ball up until the last two games of the season. The Lizards were able to defeat the top seeded Dallas Rattlers last weekend, and in front of their home crowd put forth an incredible effort to clinch a playoff spot in an 18-11 spanking of the second seeded Chesapeake Bayhawks.
The Lizards started the scoring quick with a goal by Tommy Kelly in the opening seconds. They opened up the floodgates in the first quarter with six goals. Drew Adams was strong all game and played a huge part in this victory. He saved seven of the first eleven shots in the opening half.
Rob Pannell was back to his old tricks in the second half, compiling goals and also breaking his single season record of 42 goals, scoring his 43rd on Saturday. Joel Tinney had a hat trick and Paul Rabil had three points in the game, two of them helpers to Pannell.
This is the kind of effort the Lizards have been waiting for all season. Their offense came alive once again, and they never relented their big lead even when things got a little tight at the beginning of the third quarter. They went up ten goals in the fourth, and the three goals given up at the very end didn’t mean anything towards the outcome. The Lizards will have a rematch with the Dallas Rattlers in Dallas next week in the semifinals of the MLL Playoffs. A win would put them in the championship for the second time in four seasons. The Lizards are looking for their third overall title.
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