By Natalie Johnson | 5/16/14 10:20 AM
Charlotte Hounds at Boston Cannons
Saturday, May 17 – 6:00 PM EST – Harvard Stadium
Syndicated: FS Florida, FS South, SportSouth, Altitude
The Charlotte Hounds (1-2) are looking for their second consecutive victory, but the Boston Cannons (1-2) will be fighting to defend their home field at Harvard Stadium.
Last Time Out:
Charlotte: The pieces finally came together for the Hounds last week as they defeated Chesapeake 12-7 in a complete team effort. Charlotte got out to an early 4-0 lead over the Bayhawks, and they never relinquished that lead. The Hounds got goals from eight different players, including a hat trick from Mike Sawyer, and one goal from Thomas DeNapoli, who was making his MLL debut.
Boston: The Cannons nearly ended the Denver Outlaws’ incredible win streak last week, scoring two goals in the final three minutes to force overtime. Ultimately, Boston fell 10-9, but the Cannons put on an impressive performance and pushed the MLL’s top team to the brink. Kevin Buchanan and Paul Rabil each recorded four points for Boston, and Jordan Burke had 16 saves on 26 shots.
Power Play Problems: Charlotte has struggled mightily in both man-up and man-down situations this season. The Hounds are seventh in the league in power play scoring, which could be a problem against the Cannons, who have killed off 70% of their penalties. On the other end, the Hounds are last in the MLL in penalty killing, allowing opponents to score on 55% of their power plays.
Strength vs. Strength: Boston currently has two of the league’s top six point scorers this season in Kevin Buchanan and Paul Rabil. However, Charlotte goalkeeper Pierce Bassett is having a strong season, with a goals against average of just 9.82. It will be interesting to see which team gets the edge in this matchup of strengths.
A One-Sided Series: The Hounds have never defeated the Cannons, going 0-4 vs. Boston in their two seasons in the league. There have been several close games between the two teams, but will this be the week that Charlotte finally defeats the Cannons?
Players to Watch:
Charlotte: Ryan Young is currently on an impressive streak, as he scored at least one point in 21 consecutive games, All eyes will be on Young to see if he can continue this incredible run that started way back in August of 2012. Meanwhile, Tim Fallon is quickly bouncing back after a disappointing Week 1 performance at the X, with a .659 face off winning percentage over the last two games. Even though Bassett has been impressive between the pipes, this week we may see the return of Adam Ghitelman who is coming of his NCAA coaching season with Harvard.
Boston: Jordan Burke is having an outstanding year in the net, with a 8.95 goals against average– the best among all MLL goalies with at least 60 minutes of playing time this season. On the offensive side, attackman Jack Rice has gotten a quick start on his first season in the league, scoring four goals in his first three games. If Rice continues at this pace, he could be a very dangerous player as he gets even more comfortable in the professional game.
Charlotte: Mike Sawyer’s season is starting to pick up steam, and he leads the team with 5 goals. Ryan Young has a team-high 3 assists to go along with his 3 goals on the year. Ryan Flanagan leads the Hounds with 13 ground balls, and Pierce Bassett has 33 saves in the net.
Boston: Kevin Buchanan leads the Cannons (and all players in the league) with 12 goals through the first three weeks of the season. Paul Rabil has a team-high 8 assists on the year. On the defensive side, Chris Eck and Brodie Merrill are tied with 16 ground balls each.
2013 Season Series:
The Cannons won both matchups in 2013, albeit by the slimmest of margins. In Week 7, Boston defeated the Hounds 15-13, despite hat tricks from Matt Danowski and Ryan Young for Charlotte. When the two teams met again in Week 10, the game went to overtime, where the Cannons were once again victorious, 17-16, thanks in part to an 8-point game from Paul Rabil (5 G, 3 A).
The Cannons are the only team remaining in the league that has not scored or allowed a 2-point goal this season.
Tim Fallon needs only 3 more face off wins to reach 300 career wins at the X.
If you’re going to watch in the Cannons in person on Saturday night, you might want this awesome graphic tee to let everyone know where your loyalty lies! Get yours here, or check out the rest of our great merchandise in the MLL Shop.