Dallas Rattlers Prevail in Home Opener at Ford Center

Suad Bejtovic Photography

Frisco, we have ourselves a winner.

On Sunday afternoon at Ford Center, the latest professional sports franchise to call our bustling suburb home, the Dallas Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse, won their inaugural home game, 15-14 in overtime over the Denver Outlaws before several thousand happy fans.

Ty Thompson delivered the game-winner 3:39 into the extra frame, scoring his fourth goal of the game.

Dallas (2-1) also got four goals and three assists from Jordan Wolf and two goals apiece from Chris Bocklet and Ned Crotty.

The Rattlers, who relocated from Rochester, New York after last season, succeeded in building a nice atmosphere both outside Ford Center, a great vibe which extended into the air-conditioned indoor arena which is part of The Star.

Outside the building on Tostitos Championship Plaza, fans were treated to live music before the game and several tents set up around the turf field in front of the giant video screen which is visible from pretty much anywhere in Frisco.

And once the game started right after 2:00pm, it didn’t take the home side long to deliver the game’s first goal. Wolf did the honors, scoring his first of four goals on the afternoon, coming from behind the Denver net to make it 1-0 just 2:20 into the game.

Wolf would also assist on Thompson’s first goal later in the first period.

Denver (0-2), which got four goals from Eric Law and a hat trick from Matt Kavanagh, got two goals from Law late in the first period to deadlock the game at 3-3 heading to the second quarter.

In the second 15-minute quarter, the Outlaws and Rattlers traded goals and headed to halftime tied 6-6.

One of the highlights from halftime was a lucky fan who won a $10,000 outdoor barbecue setup from contest sponsor Premier Grilling by successfully scoring a goal at close range.

Just like in the first quarter, the Rattlers again wasted little time in pulling ahead. This time it was Jack Near who scored 56 seconds into the third quarter on a goal assisted by Wolf to make it 7-6 early in the third.

Law completed his hat trick 3:14 into the second half to make it a 7-7 contest.

Back-to-back goals by Wolf, who scored his second of the game as he was falling down, and Crotty put Dallas up 9-7 with about five minutes left in the third.

After Denver’s Drew Snider cut it to 9-8 with his goal with less than four minutes remaining, Bocklet scored 39 seconds later and Wolf completed his own hat trick with 21 seconds remaining in the third, giving Dallas an 11-8 lead.

But the Outlaws outscored Dallas 6-3 in the fourth quarter, getting back-to-back goals from Kavanagh to help force the 10-minute sudden-death overtime.

However, Thompson ended it 3:39 into the extra frame with his fourth goal of the contest, a tally fittingly assisted by Wolf.

Thompson’s tally sent the engaged crowd home happy. The several thousand in the stands were raucous when they needed to be and helped create a nice in-game atmosphere for the first of seven home games the Rattlers will host between now and early August.

Dallas will now hit the road for the next two weeks, playing at Boston and then at Ohio before returning home to host Atlanta on May 19 at Ford Center.

So, if you can appreciate a game with lots of great athletes, where speed, agility and great all-around skill, and of course plenty of goal-scoring is the norm, then come check out the Dallas Rattlers.

Normal games last just over two hours and the Rattlers do play in the air-conditioned confines of Ford Center, another plus in what figures to be a hot summer.

And the players sign autographs on the field after each home game, another reason to check out this burgeoning sport in the Lone Star State.