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Game 6 Preview: Cannons vs. Rattlers

March 18, 2016

Cannons vs. Rattlers
Face Off: 8:00 pm EST
Broadcast: Live on CBS Sports Network

Click here to download the game notes

The Cannons have struggled against the top teams in the league so far this season, most recently finding themselves on the wrong end of a 24-14 game last Friday in Denver against the undefeated Outlaws (5-0). The Cannons went 1-3 during the four-game stretch, which included two losses to Denver, a loss to Hamilton (5-0), and a win against Chesapeake (3-2). Boston aims to get back on track this Friday against 2-3 Rochester. The Cannons are 10-10 all-time versus the Rattlers.

Boston is in desperate need of their second win and with the season almost halfway gone, it’s now or never. Rochester is tied with Ohio for the fewest number of shots taken at 182—a change the Cannons defense will be more than happy to receive as their previous four games have been against three of the top four teams in shots taken.

In the first game of the 2012 season against the Rattlers, the Cannons gave up two goals in the first minute of play, but they would only let in one more over the next 59 minutes, holding Rochester to an MLL all-time low of three goals on the way to prevailing 15-3 in Boston. Jake Beebe notched four goals for the Cannons, earning him Bud Light Player of the Game honors in his first game in uniform. Ari Sussman scored four goals of his own and Paul Rabil added a hat trick. The Rattlers netted their third and final goal in the third quarter and were held scoreless in the second and fourth quarters.

On June 1 st in Rochester, Ryan Boyle set the MLL all-time assists record at 212, passing former Cannon Conor Gill. Kevin Buchanan was the recipient of the record-breaking assist when he scored his fourth goal in the second quarter. Mike Stone recorded his second goal before the half ended with the Cannons up 9-7. The Rattlers struck with seven goals in the third, but the Cannons responded in the fourth with two goals from Rabil and another from Stone who had completed his fourth consecutive hat trick. Extra time was needed to determine the winner when regulation ended in a 16-16 tie. On the Rattlers’ second possession of overtime, Roy Lang scored his only goal of the game, simultaneously giving Rochester the W and snapping the Cannons’ nine-game winning streak dating back to the 2011 campaign.

Former Boston face-off man John Ortolani, who spent his first four MLL seasons with the Cannons, was traded to Rochester at the end of the 2012 season. Friday will be the first time Ortolani faces his old team and face-off partner Chris Eck. Ortolani has played in all five games for the Rattlers this season, racking up 19 ground balls and posting a 47% face-off win percentage.

With his second consecutive seven-point performance last Friday against Denver, Rabil continues to quickly close the gap with Conor Gill, the Cannons’ all-time points leader at 282. Rabil needs just 12 points to claim the title. Matt Poskay is now six games away from the Cannons’ all-time games played record, currently held by Ryan Curtis at 86. Jordan Burke still searches for his 18 th win as a Cannon, which would tie him for second all-time with former Cannon Kip Turner. Friday will be Ryan Boyle's 100th career game.

Goalie Mike Gabel will be unavailable for Friday’s game in Atlanta due to personal reasons and goalie Eric Hagarty will be brought up from the practice squad as the back-up. Defenseman Ryan Nizolek will return to the line-up after serving a one-game suspension. Defenseman P.T. Ricci’s stay on the IR list will be extended another game.

Rookie and 6 th overall draft pick Cameron Flint (University of Denver) is graduating and will be unavailable for Friday’s game. Flint recorded an assist against the Outlaws last Friday. Rookies Brendan Buckley (Army), David DiMaria (Lehigh), Scott Ratliff (Loyola University Maryland), and Will Manny (UMass) will travel to Atlanta on Friday. Manny scored his first professional goal and grabbed two ground balls against Denver. In his second career game, Buckley scooped three ground balls.

Tune in to CBS Sports Network at 8:00 pm EST to see who will tilt the all-time series between the Cannons and the Rattlers.