The Boston Cannons left Memorial Stadium in Charlotte with their second win of the season, closing out the game at 15-13 over the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night.
This was the Hounds’ chance at a winning record for the first time in franchise history, but impressive scoring efforts from a well-rounded Boston offense, under the new leadership of John Tucker, coupled with a second quarter shutout, kept Charlotte at bay.
The Hounds jumped out to the early lead with great passing game amongst Mike Sawyer and Eric Lusby, and Matt White who recorded a goal just 49 seconds in. This began a four-goal run for Charlotte, thanks to Peet Poillon, Sawyer and captainMatt Danowski. It wasn’t until there was 3:30 left on the clock that Boston’s rookie, Will Manny, put the ball past Adam Ghitelman to make it 4-1. Charlotte’s point leaders, Ryan Young and Danowski, answered quickly putting heat and speed on the ball to fluster Boston’s goalie, Jordan Burke. Brent Adams closed out the quarter making it 6-2 after one.
The second quarter told a much different story than the first, with the Cannons’ Mike Stone scoring three back-to-back goals, for the natural hat trick closing in on Charlotte’s lead. At 6-5 Kevin Buchanan capitalized on a man up situation to tie it all up at six. Ryan Farrell followed to give Boston the 7-6 lead. Spectacular defense from Boston held the Hounds scoreless in the second quarter, keeping Danowski and Poillon at bay. After a seven goal run and plenty of time in Hounds’ territory, the Cannons went to the locker room with the 8-6 advantage.
Coming into the second half both Ryan Boyle, the all time points leader, and Paul Rabil, leading the league with 29 points on the season, remained almost a non-factor for Boston. The Hounds coverage of Paul Rabil kept him scoreless, severely handicapping the Cannons. It was not until the 7:53 mark in the third that Boyle scored to bring Boston to 10-7. In a much quieter quarter than the first two, Charlotte managed to come up with two goals, including Danowski’s third to finish off a hat trick and faceoff man, Tim Fallon turning the ball around to put the Hounds behind by three.
Stone continued his scoring efforts into the fourth quarter, earning himself Player of the Game honors and a total of four goals on the night. With less than two minutes left in the game, and trailing by five, the Hounds came alive, scoring three goals in a row. This included two from Young to complete a hat trick. Unfortunately it was too little too late, with just 13 seconds left on the clock Boston’s Chris Eck (19 for 32 in faceoffs on the night) won the faceoff, dashing any hopes Charlotte had for a two-pointer. Boston walked away with the 15-13 win and will look to week eight to start a winning streak and keep any playoff hopes alive.
Next Boston will return home after a three game roadtrip and take on the New York Lizards at 7:30pm EST on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, June 20. The Hounds will host the Chesapeake Bayhawks in their first matchup of the season on June 22 at 5:30pm EST.
Saturday night was John Tucker’s first night as the Boston Cannon’s head coach, although he is not unfamiliar with the role, as he once coached the Los Angeles Riptide for three seasons.
Tim Fallon only went 13-32 in faceoffs during the game, but leads the league in ground balls with 56, including seven on the night.
This is the second week in a row that the Hounds have failed to score in the second quarter. In week six against the Ohio Machine, Charlotte went scoreless in the second but came back for an eight-goal third.
Boston’s Jordan Burke was out to a rough start in the first quarter giving up six goals, but finished the night with 17 saves on 30 shots on goal.
Jake Tripucka made his MLL debut with the Charlotte Hounds, although scoreless he did receive plenty of playing time and is expected to make a difference for the Hounds in coming weeks.
For the first time this season Paul Rabil went scoreless in a game, a result of Charlotte’s double teaming, but this left Mike Stone open for a natural hat trick and a total of four goals in the game.