Nationals Clinch the Playoffs with the Win; Postseason Remains Unclear for Boston
July 27, 2013 - Hamilton, Ontario - The Boston Cannons dropped to 5-7 and fifth place in the MLL standings with a 17-12 defeat to the Hamilton Nationals (9-3), who clinched a spot in Championship Weekend with the win. The Cannons trailed the entire game, unable to overcome the Nationals led by Garrett Thul, who scored five goals including a two-pointer to earn player of the game honors.
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The Nationals dominated early with four straight goals to open the contest, including one from goalie Brett Queener on a coast-to-coast goal after saving Paul Rabil's only shot on goal of the first half. Boston's Scott Ratliff scored the only Cannons goal of the quarter, assisted by fellow rookie Will Manny. But Hamilton's Thul scored a two-point goal late in the quarter to give the home team a commanding 6-1 lead after the first 15 minutes.
Mike Stone struck first in the second quarter for the Cannons, but the Nationals answered with three straight from Jordan Hall, Jeremy Thompson and Roy Lang. The Cannons then went on a run of their own, with Stone's second of the night, Marty Bowes' first career goal and another from rookie Cam Flint to close the gap. Hamilton captain Joe Walters snuck one by Jordan Burke late in the quarter and the Nationals took a 10-5 lead into the break.
The Cannons seemed to come out of the locker room back on track, opening the third quarter with two straight scores from Kevin Buchanan and Matt Poskay. But Lang and Hall answered for the Nationals before Poskay scored his second of the quarter. Kevin Cunningham added one more before the quarter ended and the Nationals remained ahead by five, 13-8. Despite the three goals allowed, Burke had a solid quarter with nine saves in the frame.
Thul opened the fourth quarter scoring before Rabil got his only points of the game with a two-pointer. Stephen Berger and Buchanan added one each for the Cannons, but with a goal from Cody Jamieson and two more from Thul to close the game, Hamilton ran away with the victory.
Playing in his 87th MLL game, Poskay passed Ryan Curtis as the player with the most games in a Cannons uniform. Burke finished the night with 22 saves.
The Cannons return home next Saturday, August 3 to face the last-place Ohio Machine (4pm).
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