Boston Cannons vs. Bridgeport Barrage
August 7, 2003
The Game Story:
CANNONS BLAST BARRAGE CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH

Lowell, MA (August 7, 2003) The Boston Cannons (7-4) of Major League Lacrosse beat the Bridgeport Barrage (1-10) 21-15 in front of 3,790 rain-soaked fans at Cawley Stadium, Lowell, MA. The Cannons dodged the raindrops for their third highest offensive output of the season, and clinched the team's third consecutive playoff berth in the process.

"The playoffs was one of our goals from day one," said Scott Hiller, Cannons head coach. "It was great to do it at home in front of the best fans in the MLL. But we're not satisfied with just making the postseason. We want to be the best team in the league, and we still have work to do."

The game started on time (7:30PM) despite torrential rain in the Lowell area. After staking claim to a 14-6 halftime lead, the Cannons were held scoreless in the third quarter, the first scoreless period for Boston in 2003. The Cannons came out firing in the fourth scoring the first three goals, and seven of the game's last ten.

Michael Watson tallied four of his game-high six goals in the fourth, notching one at the :44 second mark and one at the :32 second mark to seal the game. Watson's six goals and six points are both season highs.

"Its all about ball movement for our offense," said Watson. "When we move the ball on offense we're very dangerous. But this team isn't done yet. We still have things we need to work on. As Coach Hiller said we want to be the best team in the league."

"I think we can be that team," Watson continued. "We are solid in all aspects of the game and when we put it together we can beat anyone."

In addition to Watson, David Evans had a big night on offense. Evans scored a season high five goals and added an assist for six total points. Conor Gill increased his MLL leading assist total to 35, with six assists tonight. Brent Rothfuss and Mike Regan scored three goals apiece.

Major League Lacrosse suspended Regan for his involvement in an altercation in the Cannons-Bayhawks game on August 2. He appealed the suspension, thus allowing him to play tonight.

Cannons goalie Chris Garrity was named the game's Bud Light MVP after making 21 saves. Garrity came up big during Boston's offensive lull. Despite scoring six goals in the third quarter, the Barrage had numerous chances that were turned aside by Garrity.

"Chris (Garrity) came up very big for us tonight again," said Hiller. "It was a total team effort. That's the way the Cannons win games. We're at our best when we play unselfishly on offense and solid team defense."

Cannons midfielder Peter Inge had another strong night in the faceoff circle. He won 54% of the draws he took.

For Bridgeport it was Dan Denihan leading the way offensively. The attackman notched seven goals and had three assists for ten points. He had four of the Barrage's six goals in the third quarter, to help bring Bridgeport back into the game.

Despite the sloppy conditions on the field, the Cannons came out of the gates like gangbusters. The Cannons outscored the Barrage 7-2 in the first quarter and 7-4 in the second. Watson scored the game's first goal.

The Cannons announced the World Cup Sports 2003 Cannons Team Awards in a halftime ceremony. Garrity won rookie of the year, Tim Byrnes won the 11th man award. Ryan Curtis won the defensive player of the year with Regan taking the offensive player of the year award. Gill was named the Cannons overall MVP.

The Cannons play next on Thursday August 15 at New Jersey at 7:30PM. With their win tonight the Cannons will play in the semi-final round of the MLL playoffs on August 22 at Villanova Stadium.