6/24/11 8:00 PM
(Rochester, June 24)… Jeremy Boltus’ record-tying performance spurred a second-half comeback that guided the Hamilton Nationals to a 19-16 win over the Rochester Rattlers tonight at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Boltus scored three times during a 9-0 run over the final two quarters to help Hamilton improve to 2-3. Boltus finished the game with seven goals, tying Merrick Thompson’s team record set in 2009. The Nationals also equaled their most points scored in a game also set in 2009.
“It was definitely during my high school days,” said the Baldwinsville, NY, native. “I developed as a feeder at Army. The ball was rolling to win and I had to capitalize.”
Hamilton’s Joe Walters also notched seven points (3+1+3), which included hitting a two-pointer with one minute to play to ice the win. Jordan Hall chipped in with three goals and two assists.
Another rookie also had a big night, as Webster, NY, native and Rochester Rattler Grant Catalino scored nine goals, including a two-pointer, to tie the Major League Lacrosse single-game goal record. Rookie John Galloway (Syracuse) made 18 saves in the loss, as the Rattlers fell to 0-5.
In a game that was a battle of two rookies, Hamilton opened the scoring at 1:26 on a turnaround shot by Boltus. The Rattlers answered with the next four to take a 4-1 lead. The Rattlers used four different goal scorers with the last from Catalino at 9:31. After getting his first pro goal, the Maryland product would net the next two Rattlers’ goals, including swatting in a shot at 13:00. The Nationals ended the first frame by scoring four of the last six goals, including a man-up goal by Boltus at 14:35 to bring Hamilton within one.
The Rattlers used a man-up goal to open the second quarter as Martin Cahill scored from the right-wing side. The goal at 6:10 established a two-goal lead for the Rattlers at 7-5. Just 47 seconds later, he broke in down the right side and ripped a shot past Joe Marra for an 8-5 Rochester lead. Catalino then scored a highlight reel goal as he broke free from two defenders, cut to the cage and ripped a low shot past Marra for his fourth of the night. Catalino wasn’t done as he scored 14 seconds later from just inside the two-point arc for his fifth of the contest and a 10-5 lead. The goal was part of a 4-0 Rochester run.
David Earl ended the scoring drought with a goal at 9:49, which sparked a 2-0 Hamilton run. Boltus beat Galloway one-on-one 29 seconds later for his first pro hat trick and Hamilton was back within three. Walters earned his second point of the night to become the team’s all-time point leader. Just as Hamilton was coming back, Catalino blazed a shot from the left-wing side for his sixth of the night for an 11-7 lead. Boltus then launched a shot from 10 yards out for his fourth of the night, as he tried to keep up with Rochester’s Catalino. His marker brought Hamilton to within 11-8 with under three to play in the first half.
Catalino notched his seventh goal of the game at 3:42 after Ned Crotty scored in the opening minute of the third. Hamilton responded with Hall’s second of the night at 7:23 and Boltus shoveled in a rebound for his fifth of the game at 8:29 to cut the deficit to 13-10. Earl then extended the Hamilton rally to 3-0 with a screen shot that beat Galloway at 12:20. The deficit was down to 13-12 after Boltus cut to the front of the net, received the pass and scored his sixth of the night with 34 seconds left in the third. Boltus then notched his seventh with six seconds left to tie the game at 13, and prolong a 5-0 Hamilton run.
The Nationals continued to mount a comeback and increased their run to 9-0 in the fourth. Earl completed his first pro hat trick at 1:01 to give Hamilton its first lead since 1-0 at 14-13. Kevin Crowley added his first pro goal at 9:12 and Walters ripped the net at 10:41 for a 16-13 lead. Merrill connected with Hall for his third of the night for a 17-13 lead. Catalino scored at 12:44 to end Rochester’s scoreless drought of 16:26. Walters lofted a shot in for a two-pointer to make it 19-14 with one minute left as Galloway was out of his cage pressuring the ball. Catalino ended the night with his first pro two-pointer with 18 seconds to play to cap off a career 10-point night. Hamilton goalie Brett Queener made six stops and limited the Rattlers to just five points in the second half.
“It’s a game of runs. It’s the best offensive players in the world and the best lacrosse players in the world,” said Queener, who was playing his first major minutes this season after suffering an offseason eye injury. “You need to make some defensive stands and get the key possessions.”
The second game of the two-game set between Rochester and Hamilton is a 7:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, June 25th at McMaster University’s Ron Joyce Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.