8/28/11 6:24 PM
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND - August 28, 2011: The Boston Cannons won the team's first Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship with a 10-9 win over the Hamilton Nationals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Anchored by Bud Light Player of the Game Jordan Burke and with seven players scoring, the Cannons became the latest Boston sports team to win a championship.
"I'm very proud of this groups," said Cannons head coach Bill Daye. "All season they worked hard and bought into our plan. 11 wins in 2011 and we're MLL champs!" Daye has been a part of the Cannons for all 11 seasons, first as a player, then assistant coach and finally head coach.
2011 Bud Light MLL Season MVP Paul Rabil, smothered by Warrior MLL Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill, contributed two assists in the win. Casey Powell, who rejoined the Nationals for the end of the regular season - debuting in the August 6 defeat to the Cannons - proved he is still one of the best in the game with four goals, striking first in the second, third and fourth quarters.
Ryan Boyle opened the scoring on an early man-up opportunity for the Cannons on an assist from Rabil. Kevin Crowley answered for Hamilton, followed by a goal from Codie Jamieson to put the Nationals on top 2-1, the only lead they would have in the game. Matt Poskay scored two in row on assists from Kyle Sweeney and Boyle to give the Cannons a 3-2 edge at the end of the first quarter.
Powell scored early in the second quarter to tie the game at three, but the Cannons controlled the scoreboard for the rest of the first half, beginning with an unassisted goal from Mike Stone. Poskay completed his hat trick, set up once again by Boyle, and Rabil found Brad Ross to end the half with a 6-3 Cannons advantage.
After Powell's third goal to start the third quarter, Pat Heim got room and scored unassisted. With three penalties totaling seven minutes on Jack Reid, the Cannons played shorthanded for the end of the quarter. Matt Smalley scored his first career post-season goal on a precise feed from Boyle before Powell scored unassisted and Brett Bucktooth found Jeremy Boltus to cut the Cannons' lead to 8-6 going into the final 15 minutes.
The teams traded goals throughout the final quarter, beginning with Powell's goal from Jordan Hall. Heim scored his second unassisted goal of the night, but Merrill scored immediately off the following face off. Kevin Buchanan scored the game winner 45 seconds later, diving across the crease to beat Brett Queener. Codie Jamieson scored once more for the Nationals with 32 seconds left in the game, but it was not enough as the Cannons held the ball to complete the victory.