Jake Beebe wasn’t supposed to play in Saturday night’s season opener for the Boston Cannons, but after Matt Poskay’s flight to town was delayed, the Sudbury native made the most of his opportunity.
Beebe, who started the game at attack, finished with a team-leading four goals as Boston cruised to a 15-3 win over the Rochester Rattlers in front of 9,174 at Harvard Stadium.
‘‘I just had to prepare mentally the whole entire day like I was going to play no matter what,’’ said Beebe, who had many friends in attendance. ‘‘Once Coach told me I was a go, I was just hoping to come in and make some noise.’’
Poskay, an attackman who is the Cannons’ all-time leading scorer, didn’t make it back in time for the game after coaching the Wagner College lacrosse team in New Jersey in the afternoon.
After falling behind, 2-0, just 58 seconds into the first quarter, the Cannons regained the form that carried them to the Major League Lacrosse title last season, rattling off 11 consecutive goals and holding Rochester scoreless for 36 minutes.
‘‘We got off to a little bit of a slow start,’’ said Cannons netminder Jordan Burke, who finished with 17 saves. ‘‘But after that we played really well defensively — pretty much flawless after that first minute — all we allowed after that was a rebound goal.’’
Beebe’s first career goal got the Cannons on the board 5:47 into the first. Mike Stone followed up with a powerful strike past Rattlers keeper John Galloway to tie the game.
Stone’s shot had so much steam on it, the referees missed the fact that it never crossed the goal line, instead hitting three different posts.
Ari Sussman’s goal with 9:45 to play in the first gave the Cannons their first lead, 3-2, and they never looked back, taking a 9-2 lead into halftime.
‘‘It’s a great start,’’ said Burke. ‘‘It was great to come out in front of our fans and drop the championship banner and say thanks to the fans and then to put forth that kind of performance.’’
The Rattlers’ third goal didn’t come until the 8:02 mark of the third period.
Paul Rabil, last season’s league MVP, finished with eight points (three goals, five assists) and Sussman had a hat trick as well in his Cannons debut.
Chris Eck was solid as usual on faceoffs, winning 11 of 20 overall and 7 of 11 in the first half when Boston did the majority of its damage against a Rattlers team that was missing Ned Crotty, their leading scorer in 2011.
‘‘What it comes down to is having a good core of leaders on defense who understand what we want to do, and the goalie that we have in the cage,’’ said Cannons first-year coach and Waltham native Steve Duffy.
Asked if he could have scripted his coaching debut any better, Duffy replied, ‘‘No chance.’’
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer