Boston, MA – It’s coming down to the wire for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier outdoor lacrosse league, as the regular season is rapidly winding down.
The Cannons second to last game of the regular season is Saturday, July 30 as they square off against the New York Lizards at Harvard Stadium. The game marks the 40th all-time meeting between the two squads dating back to the inaugural season of the league in 2001. The Cannons are 17-22 in all-time play with the Lizards and five of the last six contests between the two have been decided by one goal.
This weekend features the return of former Boston Cannons midfielder and two-time MVP, Paul Rabil to Harvard Stadium. In January 2015, Rabil was dealt to the Lizards in what was considered one of the biggest trades of all of MLL history. Rabil was traded to New York in exchange for Max Seibald and several draft picks.
On June 18, the two squads squared off in Long Island in an intense battle. It was a back and forth affair in which the Cannons had a late lead, but the Lizards scored two late goals to force overtime. Dave Lawson found the back of the net in overtime for New York to hand Boston a 13-12 loss.
While the Cannons have several scenarios to qualify for the playoffs, this Saturday’s game is a must win to keep their post-season ambitions alive. It’s only fitting that the game is against their nemesis from Long Island.
Last time out, the Cannons saw their three-game win streak snapped in a 17-15 loss to the Ohio Machine in
Columbus. Davey Emala tallied five goals and Seibald had a hat trick, but it was not enough to stop the late surge by the Machine offense in the final quarter.
The Lizards will play this Thursday at home as they take on Chesapeake. Last weekend, New York had a big lead on the road against Rochester before seeing the Rattlers storm back in the fourth quarter. The game entered overtime, and Rabil found the back of the net to give New York their first win in four games.
Saturday’s battle will start at the face-off X as two of the best in MLL will look to set the tone for their respective
teams. Lizards face-off specialist and reigning MLL MVP Greg Gurenlian leads MLL in face off win percentage, winning 58% on the season and Joe Nardella is second in the league winning 56% of his face-offs.
New York leads the MLL with just under 17 goals per game. Tyler Fiorito and the Cannons defense will have to hold Rabil, Rob Pannell and the Lizards offense in check and help create transition offense as well. The Cannons lead the MLL with over four transition goals per game.
Boston versus New York has been a rivalry since the league began in 2001, but has certainly heated up over the past two seasons with the trade of Paul Rabil and last season’s playoff game. This game will have a playoff feel and will add fuel to the rivalry fire. Boston knows the importance of this game, and will not go down without a proper fight in front of their home fans.