July 31, 2011

Boston's In: Cannons Clinch Playoff Berth With Win Over Denver

from press releases

Paul Rabil and the Cannons became the first MLL team to clinch a playoff berth with a 10-9 win over Denver Saturday night.

©Kevin P. Tucker

DENVER -- Kevin Buchanan scored the game-winning goal with 1:06 left, giving the Boston Cannons a 10-9 victory over the Denver Outlaws Saturday night, and a playoff berth for the ninth time in the Cannons' 11 seasons.

Boston (7-3) is the first team in Major League Lacrosse to clinch a spot in this year's four-team postseason. Denver falls to 5-5.

"We knew we were going to have to come in here and earn this victory," said Cannons head coach Bill Daye. "The fact that we battled all the way to the end is what I'm most proud of, and we were able to finish it and get the win. Clinching the playoffs means only that; our focus now is on facing a strong Nationals team in Hamilton next week."

Entering the fourth quarter, Denver held a thin one-goal advantage. Drew Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf each completed a hat trick in the fourth quarter, but those were the only two Outlaws goals to the Cannons' three, kicked off by Brad Ross' two-point goal to tie the game at eight. Max Quinzani scored before Buchanan's give-and-go with Pat Heim cemented the victory.

Westervelt completed his hat trick early in the quarter, whipping one past Boston goalie Jordan Burke to put the Outlaws up 8-6 with under 14 minutes to play.

Brad Ross scored a power play, two-point goal later in the quarter to tie the contest at eight. It was Boston's second power play goal of the contest.

Mundorf completed his own hat trick with 3:59 to play, giving the Outlaws a 9-8 lead. Boston scored back-to-back goals within the next three minutes as Quinzani and Buchanan to go up one.

The Outlaws regained possession with 54 seconds in regulation, but lost possession 17 seconds later and Boston was able to run out most of the remaining time.

A penalty was called with four seconds left on the clock, but the Outlaws were unable to convert off of the quick shot situation as the clock expired.

The game began slowly for both offenses, with the first quarter ending in a 1-1 tie on goals from Matt Poskay for the Cannons and Terry Kimener for the Outlaws. Poskay had the first tally again in the second quarter, but the Outlaws answered twice to take a 3-2 lead into halftime.

Both offenses came alive after the break, each scoring four goals in the third quarter. Paul Rabil scored twice, Heim added one and Kyle Sweeney scored a man-down goal with less than a minute to play to keep the Cannons within one going into the final 15 minutes.

Despite a two-goal fourth quarter lead, the Outlaws were unable to snap their losing streak, which was extended to a franchise-record four games. It marks the second time this month that Boston was able to beat Denver, clinching the three-game season series against the Outlaws.

With the loss, the Outlaws descend to a tie for third place with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the league standings.

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