By Jackie Loson | 8/9/13 1:30 PM
Rochester Rattlers at Boston Cannons
Saturday, August 10, 7PM ET- Harvard Stadium
The Rochester Rattlers [5-8] travel to Harvard Stadium this Saturday, August 10, to take on the Boston Cannons [5-8] in the last week of the MLL regular season. Fans can see the game broadcast live on regional television and ESPN3.com.
This weekend marks the 22nd all-time meeting between the two original MLL teams. Rochester holds the slight 11-10 advantage after a 2013 victory in Week Six. Midfielder Jordan MacIntosh led the Rattlers to a 16-14 win, earning Player of the Game after a four goal performance. Both teams were ousted from playoffs this past weekend, and will look to end their respective seasons on a bright note.
Boston fell to Ohio last week 16-12, part of a current three-game skid. The Cannons looked like they were headed to Championship Weekend after a mid-season four-game win streak, but failed to capitalize on a couple of key games. Boston's troubles have stemmed from the defensive end of the field. Granted, they switched coaches and probably some tactics, but the guys on the back end are strong defenders and underperformed this season. Boston's defense is giving up the most shots [29.15], and goals [14.00] per game in the League. Jordan Burke has allowed the most goals-against, averaging 14.20 per game, while his .518 save percentage is seventh in the League. Their offense is tough, but it's hard to win games in this League when you allow 14 goals per game.
Looking into next season and the future of the Cannons, three rookie additions proved imperative and great choices by the Boston staff. Attackman Will Manny, midfielder Cam Flint, and defender Scott Ratliff came in and immediately excelled. Manny has totaled 26 points [14g, 12a] and earned Cascade Rookie of the Week in Week Eight. Flint has accumulated 17 points [8g, 9a] and earned Cascade Rookie of the Week in Week Nine. Ratliff has tallied three points [2g, 1a] while also grabbing 30 groundballs. Coach John Tucker said, "Those three guys came in at a difficult spot in our season and really excelled. They are definite cornerstones to build around in the future."
Rochester enters the game after a 12-8 loss to Chesapeake last week. The Rattlers had a chance at Championship Weekend, but never quite put together a strong sequence of wins to get there. The trouble has been on the offensive end of the field this entire year. The Rattlers' 23.77 shots per game and 10.15 goals per game are both sixth place in the League. Ned Crotty is the only Rochester player on the MLL Top 25 scoring leaders, and the offense has only capitalized on .28 percent of power play opportunities. Their biggest problem has been unforced turnovers, and poor decisions.
Two rookies added a huge lift for the Rattlers and their offense this season. Midfielders Dave Lawson and John Ranagan gave the team more options and more skill on the front end immediately upon arrival. Ranagan has scored 16 points [15g, 1a], and holds an eight game point-streak, while Lawson has tallied 18 points [15g, 3a], and earned Cascade Rookie of the Week in Week 12.
See these two teams battle it out in their last game of the season, this Saturday, August 10, at 7 p.m. (ET). Check local listings or ESPN3.com for live coverage.
The 2013 MLL Championship Weekend, presented by Smartlink, will be played August 24, and August 25 at PPL Park in Chester, PA. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.MajorLeagueLacrosse.com/Championship-Weekend.