John Christmas ignited Harvard stadium bringing 9,178 screaming fans to their feet with the game-winning goal in a thriller versus Long Island. The Cannons and Lizards were locked in a 12-12 dead heat with a tight five seconds left in regulation. Tom Zummo launched a Hail Mary 50 yard-plus pass that hovered in the halo of lights and seemed lost in the realm of the possible.
The outrageous pass caught fans (and defenders) off-guard allowing Christmas to avoid the hospital admission and co-pay on the desperate floater. Christmas caught impressive air to meet the pass with his legs going to goal and his torso twisted to get the ball with the look and release all air born. Lizards goalie Matt McMonagle came out and forward to check Christmas but it was a step and half too short and too late covering the body not the stick. Christmas hit open net giving the gift of a much-needed win to his teammates and a reason for the Sports Science folks to scratch their heads. Christmas’ flawless execution was a discrete example of the difficult made to look easy.
Christmas’ late-game heroics were a reminder of the Cannons’ scoring depth: Rabil, Poskay, Powell, Alrich… The Cannons were minus the Zero and the change up was interesting. Poskay who would have been the Bud Light MVP if not for Christmas had the hot hand scoring six goals. Poskay’s off-ball chores, cutting tutorial, and ability to finish were instrumental in his and his team’s success. Both ends punched in some serious defensive time, which coupled with the goalies’ outstanding play made for a refreshingly low score shifting the focus from the instant gratification of mind-numbing scoring to the more unsung notes of defense. The hazing of Boston’s rookie golden ticket continued in force. Up to four defenders would collapse with intense speed and pressure on the BlueJay freeing up his teammates. He was able to get off the quick pass and still scored two goals and an assist. Another key stat was at the face-off X. Long Island’s Peter Vlahakis dominated winning 23 of the 29 face-offs.
The win was a sweet one for Boston after having lost to Long Island by one goal (19-20) earlier this season. The Cannons lost to the Barrage their last home game. The win elevates the Cannons 5-3 for the season. Boston led the first period 3-2. Glenn Adams drew the double and dumped the pass to Tim Goettlemann who used his height in the hole finishing with an over handed stick side shot. Rabil turned over the ball going through a hard triple. Teammate Matt Poskay worked through a triple of his own scoring behind the back off a face dodge beating McMonagle top right (1-1). Goettelmann scored another goal on a turnover on the clear shooting high righty (2-1). Boston scored two more goals going into the second period. Rabil came up with equalizer on a powerplay (2-2) at 12:43. Matt Poskay cut through the hole getting the pass from Sean Morris. Poskay found the back of the net at 14:01 (3-2).
Boston took the second quarter 5-3. Poskay banked a hat trick in the second alone. Morris beat his man from topside threading the needle to Poskay who finished righty high (4-2). Long Island’s Stephen Berger scored at 7:08 putting Long Island within one (3-4). Spencer Ford came up with the equalizer off a pass from former Cannon Chris Fiore (4-4). Boston rattled off three more goals going up(6-4). Long Island’s Frank Resetarits scored on the powerplay off a pass from Berger (5-6). Boston’s Colin Hulme put the Cannons up by two at the half going coast to coast (7-5).
Long Island held Boston scoreless in the third scoring three goals. The defense picked it up in the third. Goettelmann posted a hat trick off a pass from Cromwell 7:14 (8-5). Ford scored off the back door cut off a pass from Berger. Turner didn’t even see the cutter coming in. Adams had the equalizer with a sidearm crank hitting top right high at 12:37 (8-8).
Boston edged out Long Island 5-4 in the fourth. Rabil opened the final period with a laser going top right in the two inches between the keeper and the pipe (9-8). Poskay scored his last goal of the game off an assist from Morris (3:43). Poskay managed the quickstick going upper 90. Long Island netted three goals. Cromwell went unassisted on the powerplay. Resetarits put in a pair of assists from Ford and Fiore. Brian Jacovina scored off a pass from Hulme going top shelf sending the crowd wild (11-11). Berger tempered the local enthusiasm with a killjoy bouncer across the cage off an assist from Cromwell (12-11). Zummo kept Boston in the game receiving a pass from Rabil (12-12). Christmas closed the deal giving Boston the ‘W’ with five seconds left catching and shooting the long-pass from Zummo (13-12).
Boston will hit the road facing the Bayhawks next week while Long Island hosts the Dragons on the 26th of July.
Boston Cannons vs. Long Island Lizards
|Long Island Lizards||5-4|