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Denver defeats Boston to reach MLL Championship

August 22, 2009 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release

Boston, Mass. -After trailing for the majority of the game, the top-seeded Denver Outlaws came out on top over the Boston Cannons 11-10 in the first semi-final matchup of the New Balance Major League Championship tournament. Bud Light Game MVP Josh Sims of the Outlaws made all the difference for Denver, scoring three back to back goals in the final period to edge past the Cannons.

With the win, the Outlaws advance to the Championship game tomorrow at 1:00 P.M. where they will face the winner of the Long Island and Toronto matchup this afternoon.

The score was tied 2-2 going into the second half before the Cannons got on the board with three more goals to put them ahead by three 5-2. Ryan Boyle got the fourth mark of the day when he caught a behind-the-back pass from Paul Rabil before firing in a top corner shot that blew by Denver goalie Jesse Schwartzman. Boston would then take their biggest lead after a shot from rookie Brandon Corp with just over seven minutes to play in the half.

To round out the half, the Outlaws made it a game yet again with goals from Brendan Mundorf on a powerplay, Sims, and Casey Cittadino. Boston's Rabil also got a goal before the half was through to make the score 6-5 Cannons.

After getting hit in the head with a shot, Denver goalie Jesse Schwartzman stepped out of the game for a minute as backup Adam Fullerton stepped in. Players got aggressive in Denver's defensive end just before Schwartzman came out of the game for the second time, this time for a delay of game penalty. In Fullerton's second appearance, he stopped a sniper from the Boston attack before a transition led to Brenden Mundorf's third goal that closed the gap 5-3.

Seconds later, Josh Sims got on the board for Denver to make is 5-4 before a goal by Rabil kept the Cannons in the lead by two. To finish out the quarter, Denver's Casey Cittadino got on the board with his lone point of the day to go into the half 6-5.

A slow start to the second half revved up when Sean Morris caught the ball behind the cage and saw Ryan Boyle for a quick shot to put the Cannons up 7-5 with just under nine minutes to play in the third. Less than three minutes later, Morris made a similar pass, this time to Matt Alrich who caught the pass and made a diving goal across the cage to make it 8-5.

Denver answered back with two goals to come within one point of the Cannons. Jeff Sonke got the first of the two with 5:41 left on the clock before Kyle Harrison came down from the top and juked Kevin Cassesse in a one on one to get his first of two goals on the day to make the score 8-7.

From the ground, Cannons goalie Kip Turner, who made eight of his 23 saves in the third quarter alone made a high save to get possession back with just over three minutes to play. Sean Morris got yet another assist from behind the cage with a pass to Matt Alrich who scored with 2:32 left in the quarter to make it 9-7. The two-goal lead wouldn't be enough to hold off the Outlaws as Josh Sims came out in the final quarter with three back-to-back goals to put the Outlaws ahead for the first time in the game 10-9.

The momentum stayed in Denver's favor minutes later as Kyle Harrison took it from the top for his second mark of the day at 5:47 to make it 11-9. Despite a last-minute mark by Alrich, who caught his third pass from Sean Morris for a goal, the Cannons went down in an all too familiar fashion and fell to the Outlaws by one goal. Be sure to stay tuned for the results of the second semi-final game between the Toronto Nationals and the Long Island Lizards that is set to begin at 3:00 P.M. E.T.

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