Philadelphia crashed what was to have been the release party of The Cannons 2.0. Harvardís Greco Roman style stadium did add a sense of occasion for the 8,000 plus rain-soaked fans. Despite the recent revisions, most notably to the roster, Boston came up short in the end. The Barrage outplayed Boston on possession and in the goal. Matt Striebel led Philly with four goals while keeper Brian Dougherty had a big night.
One of the leagueís most loyal fan bases was rewarded for their years of devotion dating back to modest bleachered-beginnings at a Lowell high school with serious franchise upgrades in area code, venue, and talent. The debut of Bostonís newest son and premium import fell somewhat flat. Despite a waterlogged evening, Michael Powell did deliver on the promise of fan draw and frenzy that lasted from warm-up to post game signings.
Andy Corno took the face-off strong for the Barrage, but it was the Cannons who were the first to convert. Dave Jenkins and Corno were well matched at the face-off x, but the Barrage were not able to do anything on possession early on. Bostonís Drew Pfarr scored in the first minute going high with an overhand on the run. Powell served up his first goal for Boston taking Dougherty on low through the dimehole on the left side pipe with righty side-warm shot (2-0).
Boston went up 3-0 before the Barrage finally answered with not one, but for goals. Ryan Boyle started on X finding teammate Michael Springer blanking his defender with a hard cut from up high hitting upper 90 with a lefty shot (1-3). Bud Light MVP Matt Striebel beat his defender and the slide going low left tying up the score 3-3. The last (EMO) goal of the quarter came from Justin Smith diving on the crease through traffic going behind the back (4-3).
The Barrage scored two of the three goals in the second quarter. Boston had some difficulty finding a rhythm on offense. While the expectations on Powell for sales and seats are undoubtedly high, the expectations to fill in Gillís or whoeverís shoes and make offensive chemistry happen on the spot may be unrealistic. Time will tell.
Bostonís attack tried, but Dougherty made it hard. As the game progressed, Dougherty got stronger even after taking hard ball during the warm-up. Cannonsí Chazz Woodson held Dougherty for what seemed like a lifetime on the crease throwing a several point-blank fakes, but Dougherty stayed poised and ready. DJ Andrzejewski leveled the score at four a piece with a goal off a roll dodge. Striebel put the Barrage up by two going into the third with two strong goals (6-4).
Philadelphia edged out the Cannons in the third 5-4. Dougherty called for help to pick up Andrzejewski who cut through the late slide getting the pass from Christmas going top right (5-6). Striebel, Prossner, Spring, Colsey, and Boyle added goals for Philadelphia in the third. Myers, Christmas, and Powell tried to offset the Barrage but fell short in the third 11-8.
Boyle was the first to score in the final period beating his defender and working the screen going low between the goalieís legs (12-8). Boyle started with the ball on X rolling the crease finding Springer up top who then beat his defender shooting top left (13-8). Matt Poskay was the last to score but it was a little too late (9-13).
Boston goes 1-1 while Philadelphia stands at 1-0. Boston returns to action against Long Island on May 25th.