Game 2 Preview: Cannons vs Nationals

4/30/13 10:12 PM

Game 2 Preview: Cannons vs Nationals

Cannons vs Nationals
Saturday, May 4 at 7pm
Harvard Stadium
TV Broadcast: Comcast Sports New England &

After a tough loss to open the season in New York, the Cannons will look to get on track for 2013 with a victory over the Hamilton Nationals in their home opener on Saturday night.

"It was a tough loss on Sunday, and after watching film there were a lot of mistakes on our part," said Cannons head coach Steve Duffy. "We have things to work on and we're definitely capable of playing better. The Natioanls present a different challenge, with a lot of their squad back from the NLL. We're looking forward to the week's game at home."

The Cannons will need to shut down perennial MLL Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill, who should be dressing for the Nationals. Another challenge comes from the fact that this is Hamilton's season opener; they did not play last week, preventing a look at the 2013 team.

Last year, in their first meeting after the Cannons won the team's first Major League Lacrosse championship in 2011, the Cannons entertained their home crowd of 11,277 in Boston on May 12 with a convincing 18-9 victory over the Hamilton Nationals. Ryan Boyle - named Player of the Game for his five points on three goals and two assists - began the Cannons' scoring spree four minutes into the game on an assist from Paul Rabil. The first quarter came to an end on another goal from Boyle, with Chris Eck, Matt Poskay and Kevin Buchanan each adding to the tally. Entering the second quarter, the Hamilton Nationals scored two quick goals to reach within one. Boyle then regained the momentum for the Cannons by completing his hat trick, with Mike Stone and Buchanan each adding a goal as well. Rabil assisted Stone on another goal coming out of the half, before scoring himself. In the fourth quarter, the Cannons dominated play, scoring seven goals from seven players to complete the 18-9 victory at home.

The Cannons and the Nationals met again on July 7 in Hamilton. The Nationals opened the scoring in the first quarter, but the Cannons quickly answered back as Chrick Eck beat the goalie on a bounce shot. Matt Poskay scored two goals in the quarter and Ari Sussman, the eventual Bud Light Player of the Game playing in his first game since May 5, notched his first on a crease dive and the Cannons ended the quarter ahead, 4-3. The second quarter was controlled by the Nationals as they scored four to take a 7-6 lead into the break. Ultimately, Paul Rabil contributed two assists and a diving goal in the third, and opened a Cannons fourth quarter scoring spree. Five Cannons, sealed the 15-13 victory.Sussman finished with a career-high five goals and one assist.

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