8/4/11 1:20 PM
Prepared to win last week in Denver, Kevin Buchanan found the top left corner of the net that goalie Jesse Schwartzman could not cover, resulting in a 10-9 comeback victory for the Cannons. With that goal, the Boston Cannons (7-3) were the first team to clinch a playoff berth in the 2011 season.
Boston has clinched a playoff berth nine times in the league’s 11 seasons since 2001. This year could be the year that the Cannons bring home their first Steinfeld Cup. All the statistics show that the Cannons have some of the best players in the league, and they’re playing to their potential this season. But in a league of six teams, it’s simply who shows up to win at game time that matters. Each of the five teams remaining (Rochester is out of the playoffs) has a chance to win in all this season. Chesapeake, Denver and Long Island all sit at .500 with 5 wins and 5 losses this season, setting up an interesting end to the regular season. Only three spots remain for the chance at the Steinfeld Cup.
The Cannons still hold sole possession of first place with only two games to go in the regular season. Boston will travel to Hamilton on Saturday to face the Nationals for a second time this season. In their first match-up, the Nationals dominated their way to a 16-12 win at Harvard Stadium. Boston was able to grab the 9-8 lead at half time, but it was Hamilton who regained the lead early in the third quarter and held on for the rest of the game.
Paul Rabil has totaled 41 points this season with 24 goals, 3 two-point goals and 14 assists. He is tied for first in points with Rochester’s Ned Crotty and sits behind teammate Matt Poskay in goals, who leads the league with 26 goals.
After winning three in a row, Hamilton has moved into second place. Their 16-6 blowout win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks proved the team’s talents overall. Offensively, Joe Walters and Jeremy Boltus both ended the night with two goals and two assists while Jordan Hall and Stephen Peyser scored three goals each. Although the Nationals were hot on offense with a total of nine players scoring, it was goalie Scott Rodgers who held his own in the net with a save percentage of .684 for the game.
The Nationals (6-4) can clinch a playoff spot – as well as take over first place in the league - with a win over the Cannons this weekend. If that happens, the Cannons then need a win over Rochester and a Hamilton loss on August 13 to hold onto the #1 seed in the post season.
Returning to Harvard Stadium on August 13th, the Boston Cannons will host the Rochester Rattlers in their last home game of the regular season.