The Big Picture: The Boston Cannons (8-5) visit the Ohio Machine (2-11) on Saturday, August 11th at 7 p.m. ET in the second game of a two week home-and-home series. The Cannons control their playoff destiny and can clinch a Championship Weekend berth at home in Boston with a win this week in their final game. Last week the Machine (2-11), who are eliminated from playoff contention, were defeated by the Cannons, 19-13 in Boston but continue to make improvements as they prepare for the 2013 season.
Boston Cannons: The Cannons came up with a huge victory last week at home against the Machine to keep pace in the playoff hunt. Paul Rabil earned MLL Offensive Player of the Week for his 7-point performance last week and he proved to be too much for the Machine defense to handle both as a scorer and a passer. Rabil looks to continue his explosiveness on the offensive end this week and lock up the Cannons trip home for Championship Weekend at Harvard Stadium.
Players to Watch: Attack Ryan Boyle was a big contributor last week and finished with 1 goal and 5 assists. Boyle is currently third in the league in scoring with 52 points on the season. Paul Rabil currently leads the league in scoring with 68 points including 3-goals, including a 2-pointer and 3-assists last week. FOGO Chris Eck has had an impressive season at the face-off X and continued last week, winning 24 of 32 face-offs.
Ohio Machine: Although Ohio has struggled in its’ inaugural season, Head Coach Ted Garber has a few key building blocks for the future. The squad has struggled with chemistry issues but after a full season of playing together, the Machine should be poised to make a playoff push next season. Led by attackmen Chazz Woodson and Connor Martin, the Machine have displayed a dynamic offensive attack. While both stars have had stellar seasons from a scoring standpoint, as a team, the Machine have struggled on the defensive end. Ohio has allowed the second most goals in the league this season (187).
Players to Watch: Rookie Steele Stanwick has been effective as a distributor since breaking onto the MLL scene midway through the season. He leads the Machine in assists with 17 through just 8 games, tacking on 2 more assists last week in Boston. Defensemen Kyle Hartzell is a constant threat to score in transition and is currently second in the league in 2-point goals (8). Jim Connolly comes off of a hat trick last week in which he led the Machine in scoring.