By Stuart Zaas | 8/7/11 7:00 PM
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Needing a win to clinch its sixth consecutive playoff berth, Denver improved to 10-0 all-time in the regular season against Long Island with a 14-11 victory in Hempstead, N.Y. The team has reached the postseason in each of its six seasons in the league.
The Outlaws opened the second half with a 4-0 run, kicked off by Drew Westervelt’s two-pointer on a man-up opportunity. Dillon Roy and Kevin Unterstein came through with their first goals of the season as nine different players netted goals in the contest.
Tim Goettelmann started the night’s scoring just over one minute into the contest, but Denver responded with three consecutive goals.
Max Seibald got the Outlaws on the board at the 7:01 mark with his 11th goal of the season. Brendan Mundorf followed with a goal to put Denver in front 2-1. Roy netted his first goal of the season with 1:18 left in the quarter to give the Outlaws a 3-1 advantage through one period.
Matt Danowski and Mike Unterstein went back-to-back to start the second quarter for the Lizards and tie the game 3-3.
Billy Bitter found the back of the net to put the Outlaws out in front, but Stephen Berger answered off the ensuing faceoff to knot the game once again.
Max Seibald, who earned Player of the Game honors, scored his first of two goals at the 10:57 mark before John Grant, Jr. evened the score at 5-5 1:55 before halftime.
“To come in here and step up as a lot of guys did to make it happen was huge for us,” Seibald said. “I think our attitude – just coming in with confidence and having that confidence in each other and with ourselves to hit those shots and we did so.”
Denver roared out of the halftime gates with a two-pointer from Westervelt and followed with goals from Peet Poillon and Sean DeLaney to take a 9-5 lead.
Danowski netted consecutive tallies to close the third quarter with the Outlaws in front 9-7.
Poillon scored 59 seconds into the fourth quarter off a feed from Bitter, but Ryan Young scored a pair of goals just 59 seconds apart to cut the Outlaws’ advantage to 10-9.
After Nate Watkins kept the play alive, Westervelt rewarded his hustle with a bouncer that just beat the shot clock – and Lizards goalie Drew Adams.
Andrew Hennessey won the subsequent faceoff and Terry Kimener padded the Outlaws’ lead, shooting high to beat Adams and put Denver in front by three goals at 12-9.
Fighting for their postseason lives, the Lizards responded with a goal from Tim Goettelmann to cut their deficit to two.
Unterstein picked up the outlet pass following a save by Jesse Schwartzman and went coast-to-coast, finishing with his first marker of the season.
Unterstein, who played his college lacrosse on the same field while attending Hofstra, was an omnipresent force throughout the contest and finished with a game-high six ground balls.
Down two men due to penalties, Denver surrendered a late goal to Stephen Berger, but after a big faceoff win by Hennessey, Mundorf put the nail in the coffin with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
Denver’s six postseason appearances since it entered the MLL in 2006 lead the league, as do its three Steinfeld Cup appearances.