Cannons vs. Lizards
Face Off: 7:30 pm EST
Fan Zone Opens: 5:30 pm
Broadcast: Live on Comcast Sports Net NE or ESPN3.com
Despite their worst start to the season in franchise history, the Boston Cannons remain in the thick of the playoff hunt. At 2-5, the Cannons are just one game out of the fourth post-season spot, which Charlotte, New York, and Rochester are all tied for with matching records of 3-4. The much-needed win last Saturday in Charlotte heightens momentum as the Cannons roll back into Harvard after going 1-2 on the road trip. As important as the win was against the Hounds, Friday’s game against New York is even more crucial.
The Lizards slipped away with a 14-11 victory in the season opener against the Cannons. A tight first quarter, in which Paul Rabil scored two and New York’s Tommy Palasek completed a hat trick, ended 4-3 in favor of the Cannons. But the Lizards took the lead as they outscored Boston 9-2 in the second and third quarters combined. After an early fourth quarter strike from the Lizards put them up 13-6, the Cannons went on a four-goal run, including goals from Colin Briggs, Mike Stone, Ryan Boyle, and Ari Sussman, to pull within three with just over three minutes to play. Despite Rabil’s four goals and Sussman’s hat trick, the Cannons could not overcome the deficit.
Now almost two months later, the new-look Cannons aim to avenge the loss in New York. The addition of rookies Will Manny (UMass) and Cameron Flint (Denver) has had an immediate impact, with the two combining for eight points in three games. Stone, the team’s second leading scorer, is coming off a strong four-goal performance, enough to earn him Player of the Game in Charlotte.
While their record may not show it, Boston is capable of putting on an offensive show: they’re first in the league in shots on goal percentage at 65.8%. If more of those shots start to hit the back of the goal and not the netting of the goalie’s stick, the Cannons will produce the results they need to make the playoffs.
But Lizards goalie Drew Adams knows a thing or two about protecting the cage—he’s first in the league in saves with 105. The Cannons will need to take smarter shots, waiting for the best opportunity. They’re 0-2 when out-shooting opponents, so quality, not quantity, is the name of the game for the Cannons.
Jordan Burke saved 17 shots in a solid effort against the Hounds, but Burke and the rest of the Cannons defense will need to do a better job of stifling offenses as Boston currently ranks last in the league in shots against (213, 30 per game) and goals against (103, 14.7 per game).
Another problem the Cannons will be up against is Greg Gurenlian, the league’s top face-off man (65% win percentage). Chris Eck (57%), who was injured for the first contest against the Lizards, will look to challenge Gurenlian’s domination in the circle.
In his first game as head coach, John Tucker came away with a W, using Rabil in more of a decoy role—Rabil was held to zero points for just the third time in his career. Because of the huge threat that Rabil poses, lanes opened for other Cannons to attack. Nine different Cannons notched goals against Charlotte, proving that the game of lacrosse is not about the individual, even if that individual is arguably the best player in the game.
Now is your chance to buy tickets to watch the Cannons take on the Lizards this Friday, June 21 at 7:30 pm at Harvard Stadium. Click here to purchase.