On Saturday, a few buddies and myself made the trip to Marlboro to the New England Sports Complex to catch the North American Lacrosse League game between the Boston Rockhoppers and Baltimore Bombers. At first, I was surprised at how big the New England Sports Complex is; I was also amazed by how many other events were going on during the Rockhoppers/Bombers game. This particular game was also a homecoming for a local lacrosse player with ties to the North Shore – Josh Rachman plays defense and takes face-offs for the Baltimore Bombers. We were there to support Josh, as well as our local lacrosse team, with our cutouts of Josh’s face. He loved them, as did his teammates and family.
On to the game. I am glad they did not play music during the game play; I have seen a few Boston Blazers games in the past and I could not stand the playing of music during game play. The arena the game was played in is definitely a plus; it seats just fewer than 2,000 people and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. This smaller arena allows fans to get close to the action and be heard. It is great when fans heckle the opposing team and officials.
The game itself was fast paced and had great back and forth action. There were at least a dozen fast breaks when the goalie just stoned the attacking player, which is great. The game was physical but clean. The overall product though on the field was good but not great. This was definitely the first time some of these guys have played the box game at this high of a level. I think as the season goes on the product on the field will get better, with all players understanding the ins and outs of the game as the season progresses.
Looking at the rosters of both teams, there were a ton of former college players. The Rockhoppers roster bolstered a few former Division I players in Roman Lao-Gosney and Cameron Lao-Gosney out of Lehigh, Tom Palasek out of Syracuse and Martin Bowes and Tim Fallon out of Hartford. There were also a good amount of D2 and D3 players, as well as a few MCLA players, on both rosters. The negative aspect of the game was the floor it was played on. The floor kept coming up when guys would make cuts or run over certain spots on the floor. I can only hope that the floor is in better shape for the next home game for the Rockhoppers. Overall, it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go check out another game soon.