Boston launched a numbing 22-goal assault on the visiting Chicago team in front of 8,829 fans at Harvard Stadium. Eleven different players contributed to the Cannons’ fertile output including three long pole goals. Defender Jack Reid took flight from X scoring backhanded while perpendicular to the near pipe with an upper-90 dunk. Reid’s gracefully acrobatic and uncharacteristic goal was one of several game highlights including the emotional return of Matt Poskay who earned Bud Light MVP honors (4g).
Boston had 33 shots on goal to Chicago’s 29. Despite the modest 11-goal outcome, Chicago had some significant firepower: Leveille Brothers Inc., rookies Glynn and Nims, and veteran Matt Striebel (who was held scoreless). Brendan Loftus stepped up for the Machine notching a hat trick. A stingy Boston defense created freedom to generate offensive opportunities. Goalie Mike Levin had a big day between the pipes coming up with 18 saves. Levin had a strong supporting cast and impervious front line in Passavia, McClay, and Reid. Long stick middie Kyle Sweeney added spice to the stew. The hits were hard, audible, and frequent. It was a different story on the other end of the field. Chicago defenders Bice, Driscoll, and Guadagnolo had their hands full. Machine goalie Gabel managed ten saves while Petit, who played a period, saved one ball on six shots.
Boston split possession at the face-off X (18-36). Face-off man Chris Eck had a good day scoring two goals. Chicago should have had a stronger showing at the face-off X with the combined talents of Kelly and Glynn. Cannons midfielder Greg Downing could have been up for Bud Light MVP contention. Downing was selling it at both ends of the field causing turnovers and executing on good looks to cage and to feeders on the inside. Downing finished with three goals and an assist. It’s not all surprising that Downing’s performance was a bit overshadowed by the theatrics of his fellow players, most notably, Boston’s newest adopted son: zero’s out and 99, in. The Cannons’ marquis player wowed the stands with his agility, power, speed, and new signature finish. He seems to have embraced the new role and accompanying status. The rookie year dues have now faded into the glory of gladiator flow basking under the blinding lights of the concrete stadium. Center stage, some people are just built for it. Rabil seems to be enjoying the limelight, even impressing himself. Spotted, not just your ordinary post-goal gesture, but the self-congratulatory fan in slow mo. Boston has always loved a showman.
But it was another big guy who came out guns a blazing. Boston’s Matt Alrich drew first fire at 6:08 off a fast break (1-0). Alrich scored again off a feed from Brett Garber at 8:27 (2-0). Chicago responded with a goal from Nims off a pass from Mike Leveille (1-2). The first quarter wrapped up 2-1 and by all accounts, the game looked like it was going to be a refreshingly low-scoring, competitive game. Then came the second quarter. Boston scored nine goals in the period alone. Matt Poskay launched the attack in the second with a topshelf crank off a pass from Rabil (3-1) 1:17. Seconds later, Eck took the ball straight off the face-off and scored on a righty overhand bouncer to the pipe (4-1). Rabil tested the water and took his defender for a swim scoring off hip (5-1). Downing followed with back-to-back goals. His first was an inside roll lefty while falling into the crease. Downing managed a bouncer at the last second (6-1). The Cannons scored two more goals to go up 8-1. The Machine finally put a layer of gauze on the wound with an unassisted goal from Loftus (2-8). Brothers Leveille connected with a no-look feed to a bouncer (3-9) at 8:26. Boston’s newest Cannon, Ryan Boyle, whose protestations (continue and yet) do not interfere with his ability to see on the inside, finished the day with one goal and five assists. Boyle hit Poskay in front. Poskay sniped upper 90 yet again seemingly slicing the time, space, continuum, and finding net on the other side (10-4). Poskay scored another beauty off the fast break going underhand on the run off the pass from Ryan McClay (11-5) sending the Cannons into the half with a six-goal lead.
Boston led the third period 5-3. Alrich scored 18 seconds into the quarter off a pass from Boyle (12-5). Chicago’s Loftus answered with a righty overhand shot going near pipe (6-12). Reid’s goal gave the Cannons a 14-6 lead with eight minutes left in the period. Nims scored on a pass to Leveille brining the score to 7-14. Boston found the back of the net four more times off of goals from Rabil, Garber, Eck, and Poskay, while Loftus added one more goal (8-19). Morris scored his only goal of the game taking his d-man one handed, tucking it in, and going near pipe high corner (19-8). Downing showed his defensive skills killing the Chicago clear setting up Boyle to fake high and shoot low (20-8). Sweeney scored his second goal of the game off the face-off (21-8). Corp was the last to score for Boston (22-8), and the Machine put in three more goals before the end of regulation. Bill McGlone hit the quick lefty side arm bouncer off the roll dodge taking Levin stick side pipe (9-22). The Leveille brothers collaborated one last time with Kevin scoring off a feed from Mike (10-22). Kimener scored on the lefty overhand bouncer off a pass from Nims with 30 seconds left in the game.
The Cannons will travel to Annapolis, Maryland to face the Washington Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on June 19 at 19:30. The Machine will hit the road and play Long Island June 20 at 19:00.
Boston Cannons vs. Chicago Machine