|Paul Rabil, the MLL MVP, shows off the championship hardware after the Cannons knocked off the Nationals, 10-9. (Larry French/Getty Images)|
The Cannons became the latest franchise from Boston to win a championship, edging the Hamilton Nationals, 10-9, yesterday in Annapolis, Md., to claim their first Major League Lacrosse title.
“I’m very proud of this group,’’ said coach Bill Daye, who has been a part of the Cannons - either as a player or coach - since the franchise’s inception in 2001. “All season they worked hard and bought into our plan. Eleven wins in 2011 and we’re the champs.’’
With Paul Rabil (two assists), the MLL’s MVP, being hounded by the Hamilton defense, his teammates stepped up. Ryan Boyle gave the Cannons (11-3) the early lead before Hamilton answered with two goals. Matt Poskay scored two of his three goals at the end of the first quarter to give Boston a 3-2 edge.
The Nationals (8-6) tied the score before Boston answered with goals from Mike Stone, Poskay, and Brad Ross to take a 6-3 lead into intermission.
Hamilton outscored the Cannons, 3-2, in the third quarter, trimming the visitors’ lead to two heading into the final frame.
After Casey Powell pulled the hosts within 8-7 with his fourth goal early in the fourth quarter, Pat Heim gave Boston some breathing room with his second goal. Hamilton again pulled within 1 on a Brodie Merrill strike before Kevin Buchanan stretched Boston’s lead to 10-8. The Nationals refused to quit, however, with Cody Jamieson trimming the deficit to 10-9 before the hosts ran out of time.
Boston’s Jordan Burke (nine saves) was named game MVP. Scott Rodgers (16 saves) and Brett Queener (four saves) split the netminding duties for Hamilton.