The Boston Cannons began the season with a 15-3 win over the Rochester Rattlers led by Jake Beebe, who scored four goals in his professional debut and earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors. Despite missing several key players in the National Lacrosse League, Steve Duffy earned the victory in his head coaching debut on the strength of a productive training camp.
"That was as complete a game as we have played in a long time," said Duffy. "Guys worked hard during training camp. A strong veteran presence the last few weeks allowed us to have a complete win in the first game of the season."
Despite an early scare as Rattlers Kevin Leveille and Steve DeNapoli both scored in the first minute of play, the Cannons reassured Major League Lacrosse fans they would not be slowed down by a Steinfeld Trophy hangover. Beebe netted the first goal of the season for the Cannons four minutes later on an assist from Ryan Boyle. Mike Stone and Ari Sussman each added a goal before the end of the quarter, giving the Cannons a 3-2 advantage.
After a fast-paced first quarter full of early season jitters, veteran Boyle slowed the tempo of the Cannons offense, which produced six goals in the second quarter while the defense held Rochester scoreless. Brian Farrell, Paul Rabil, Owen "Kit" Smith and Sussman scored one goal apiece, while Beebe completed a hat trick before the end of the half.
"I was excited to have the chance to play, and since I was preparing all week the jitters went away pretty quickly," Beebe said. "I'm just happy to contribute and help the team win."
Halftime did not slow the Cannons, as Rabil scored on the Cannons' first possession of the half. Beebe added his fourth goal of the night before Rochester scored their last, an unassisted man-up goal from Greg Rogowski. The Cannons kept the crowd excited as Sussman found the back of the net on a crease dive and Kyle Sweeney showed off his long pole stick work from behind the crease to put the Cannons up 13-3.
In the fourth quarter, Sussman scored his fourth goal on another crease dive. Rabil completed his hat trick, finishing with three goals and five assists to close out the 15-3 rout of the Rattlers. In a continuation of the teamwork that won the 2011 championship, seven Cannons scored in the season opener.