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Game 4 Preview: Cannons vs Bayhawks

March 18, 2016
Cannons vs Bayhawks
Face Off: 7pm
Fan Zone Opens: 5pm
Broadcast: Live on ESPN3.com

Following last Saturday’s loss against the Denver Outlaws (3-0), the Boston Cannons are 0-3 for the first time in franchise history. The road does not get any easier this Saturday as the Cannons face the 3-0 Chesapeake Bayhawks, who are currently tied for the league lead with the Outlaws. Boston will again be without starting goalie Jordan Burke, who will be serving his second game on the 2-Game Injured Reserve list. 

Cannons head coach Steve Duffy stressed the importance of Saturday's game. "No doubt this is a must-win for us," he said. "We need to go out and get it done against the Bayhawks. Defensively, we're going to build off of last week. We'll need 100% effort from everyone."

The bright spot for the Cannons will be the return of two key players. Attacker Ari Sussman, Boston’s second leading scorer, rejoins the line-up after missing Saturday’s game for personal reasons. Defenseman Brian Farrell, who picked up five ground balls in his only game this season, returns after fulfilling his coaching responsibilities at the University of Maryland. Sussman’s reappearance is noteworthy as he scored a hat trick in each of his first two games this season. His presence will be especially crucial this week as Chesapeake has only allowed a combined eight goals in their previous two contests, holding the Ohio Machine to five goals and the New York Lizards to three.

Last season, the Cannons split the season series with the Bayhawks. On June 23 rd, Chesapeake, in front of a home crowd, sprinted out to an early three-goal lead, including a two-pointer. A Kevin Buchanan goal and two two-pointers from Paul Rabil kept the Cannons close in the first half, but the Bayhawks countered with two two-pointers of their own before halftime. In the second half, Ryan Boyle notched back-to-back goals before Chesapeake answered with four goals to maintain the lead.  In the final quarter, despite contributions from several Cannons and Rabil’s seven-point performance, the Bayhawks held off the Cannons, winning 14-13.

On July 28 th in Boston, the Bayhawks again jumped out to a quick lead on the heels of a two-pointer. Heim and Matt Poskay put the Cannons on the board, and Sussman brought the Cannons to within one after the first quarter. John Grant Jr. of Chesapeake recorded a hat trick in the second frame, while Rabil, Buchanan, Poskay, Mike Stone, and Boyle completed the first half scoring for the Cannons. Coming out of the break losing 9-8, the Cannons tied it with a goal from Buchanan. Sussman netted two in a row to complete his own hat trick giving the Cannons their first lead of the game, which they would not relinquish. In the fourth quarter, Rabil, Stone, and Boyle scored to seal the 16-13 victory.