The Rochester Rattlers opened their 2011 home season at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night. A crowd of 5,831 watched as the 2008 MLL Championship banner was lifted after a two-year absence from league play. Rochester's Martin Cahill led Rochester with four goals but it wasn't enough as the Rattlers fell 13-9 to Long Island. The Lizards' Matt Danowski was voted the Bud Light Player of the Game pacing all players offensively with three goals and two assists.
Rochester fell behind early, watching as Long Island jumped out to an early advantage in the first quarter. The six goal run began with goals by Stephen Berger and Stephen Peyser, while Danowski tallied two goals, and a two-pointer by Chris Fiore gave the visitors a 6-0 lead at the end of one quarter.
The Rattlers finally ended their offensive drought as the second quarter began with Ned Crotty notching his fourth goal of the season. Two consecutive goals by Cahill brought the Rattlers to within three, midway through the second quarter before former Rattler Chris Unterstein broke Rochester's momentum and gave the Lizards a 7-3 halftime lead.
The two teams alternated goals to start the second half beginning with the second of the game for Long Island's Berger to increase the Long Island lead to 8-3. After Brett Garber's goal cut the Long Island lead in half, Danowski and Cahill traded goals giving both their first hat-tricks of the season and making the score 9-5.
Long Island opened the fourth quarter with an 11-5 advantage following goals by Tim Goettleman and another former Rattler Greg Gurenlian. Rochester attempted to mount a comeback scoring four of the next six fourth quarter goals cutting the Lizards lead to four, 13-9. That was as close as it would get however as the Rattlers fall to 0-2 in 2011.
The Rattlers next game will be on Friday, June 10 with faceoff at 7:30 p.m. against the Hamilton Nationals at Sahlen's Stadium.