Boston took a commanding 6-1 first quarter lead over the Washington Bayhawks in front of a home crowd of 8,279 fans. Hard hits, quick-recovery on defense and two no-swim goals from rookie Paul Rabil made for a one-two combo take of early game momentum giving the Cannons a heavy dose of swagger. Boston’s Kip Turner made out with 20 saves. Rabil led the offense with four goals and one assist.
The amount of defensive heat applied is a function of how much an offensive threat is perceived. Drawing a heated triple in the midfield off a clear means you’re tonight’s special. Rabil was ‘that’ guy. On a team stacked with offensive talent, you’ve got to honor each threat with some ground. Perhaps it was a reminder/another warm welcome to the MLL; perhaps it was frustration with a guy having a good night, but whatever it was Rabil was the recipient of some serious affection. He picked himself up off the turf without the occasion or circumstance that some players gave the refs – for far more minor officiating ‘oversights’. You have to give a player like that some respect.
Rabil’s six goal heroics in May did not affect the outcome. His success with the Cannons would not have been made possible without the defensive pressure down low, the goal tending, or the revived vision of the attacking unit. It was an evening of high density Wahoos, fans calling out former Cannons of years past, and the Cannon being fired 26 times. And yes, a few bounce passes.
The Cannons were off to a strong start. The hard hits came early. Rabil took the ball on the run going righty stickside hip moving Garrity to the left pipe at 1:17 (1-0). Rabil scored again on the run with a righty overhand shot through the five-hole (2-0). The Bayhawks responded with an EMO goal (offsides) from Andrew Combs at 4:46. Glading hit Combs off the substitution for the Bayhawks’ lone goal of the period. Combs shot lefty overhand hitting stickside pipe (1-2). Matt Alrich caught the ball in the air on the crease off a pass from Sean Morris giving the Cannons a 3-1 lead. John Christmas and Kevin Dougherty chipped in two goals unassisted (5-1). Rabil dodged to his right baiting his defender passing back to Matt Poskay who finished with a side arm crank stickside hip (6-1).
The second quarter was the most prolific between the two teams. The Cannons and Bayhawks combined for 9 goals. It was a posterboy start and finish with goal from Rabil off an assist from Boston’s biggest zero Mikey Powell. Rabil finished with a lefty underhand low to high shot (7-1). Washington’s Kyle Dixon responded with a 2-pt powerplay goal off an assist from Cherney (3-7). The Bayhawks got three more goals from Ward (Gill), Cherney, and Combs. Boston found the back of the net two more times. The score going into the half was 10-6 Boston.
The third quarter yielded the fewest amount of goals. The Cannons led by 2-1. Morris and Poskay scored for Boston while Ward scored off an assist from Gill on a two-man down EMO. The game grew more intense. Although the scoring wasn’t as rampant, the game play was just as interesting to watch. Rabil pulled his first swim move of the game and drew the harsh triple in the midfield. You only could imagine that one of those defenders was biting down on his lower lip kind of deals. Passavia had a save in goal as the deputy in the crease while Turner was hustling to recover from an ambitious clear.
The Cannons led with a 12-7 lead at the start of the final quarter. The possession of the faceoff in favor of Washington started to payoff. The Bayhawks won the final quarter 5-2, but it was not enough to overcome the first quarter deficit. Rabil was called for holding at :22. Bill Glone found the back of the net for the Bayhawks with a powerplay goal off an assist from Dixon (:37) 8-12. Conor Gill finally found mesh at 1:37 off an assist from Ward going righty backhand with a dive across the crease (9-12) cutting down the margin to three. Washington’s Christian Cook was called for interference technical foul at 3:34 setting up Matt Poskay to score at 3:42 (13-9). The physical play continued. Washington’s Shawn Nadelen was called for the slash. Boston’s Matt Alrich converted for their last goal off an assist from Powell (14-9). Washington got another goal from Matt Ward at 5:45 (10-14). Cherney (Gill) and McGlone wrapped up the scoring for Washington. Final score Boston 14 Washington 12.
The Cannons go up 3-2 with the win while the Bayhawks drop 3-3 on the season.
With the loss, the Bayhawks dropped to 3-3 on the season. The Cannons will travel to San Francisco next to take on the Dragons on 28 June 08 at 22:00 (ET).
Boston Cannons vs. Washington Bayhawks