April 23, 2017 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Boston Cannons
DeLand, Florida - With just under one minute to go in regulation and down to the Florida Launch 17-16, Boston Cannons captain, Will Manny, fired a rocket past Launch goalie Austin Kaut, sending the game into overtime.
With the momentum shifted to the Cannons, it took their offense just 39 seconds to finish off the Launch in sudden death OT as Kylor Bellistri beat Kaut on a pretty feed from Manny.
In the first quarter, there was plenty of scoring with each team scoring five first quarter goals. The second quarter was a different story with just three shots striking the mesh.
Following the slow second quarter, the second half provided scoring in bunches. There were 11 third quarter goals followed by nine tallies in the fourth quarter. The Cannons went on an offensive rampage, scoring four of the final five goals in the fourth quarter.
Throughout the afternoon, the Cannons got huge contributions from two unfamiliar faces, Scott Bieda and Bellistri. Bieda finished with three points and scored his first career goal. Bellistri, who saw some playing time with the team last season had a hat trick as well as an assist.
On the contrary, some familiar faces on the team; Manny, David Emala, Justin Turri and Joe Nardella, had strong season debuts.
Manny finished with five points, all of which came in the second half. Emala and Turri each had four points. Nardella's strong work at the faceoff-x continued as he won 20 of the 35 face-offs he lined up for.
For the Launch, Steve Pontrello and Connor Buczek both had four points. Buczek scored a huge two-point goal that seemed to be a dagger until the Cannons turned it on offensively.
A strong start to the season was emphasized in training camp and getting the first win in a battle-testing game provides great hope for the 2017 season. The Cannons stay away from home next week on the road against the Atlanta Blaze and hope to continue to improve on their 3-4 away record from last season.
QUOTES OF THE GAME
"The win over the Florida Launch was one of resiliency and grit. Being down or tied the entire game, our team battles in both end of the field to pull off an overtime win on the road." - Head Coach Sean Quirk
"The composure and unselfishness of our players showed great potential moving forward to Atlanta next week." - Head Coach Sean Quirk
"We have a number of areas to keep improving on, but the squad is headed in the right direction for sure." - Head Coach Sean Quirk
PLAYERS OF NOTE
Will Manny led the team with five points, all of which came in the second half.
David Emala scored four goals for the Cannons.
Justin Turri scored his 100 th point and finished with four assists.
Kylor Bellistri scored the game-winning goal and finished with four points. He was named Player Of The Game.
Scott Bieda had three points in his first MLL game and scored two straight goals for the team.
Steve Pontrello had a hat trick for Florida and finished with four points.
Connor Buczek scored two goals including a two-point goal and also assisted a goal.
* Justin Turri finished the game with four assists and scored his 100 th career point with his assist in the third quarter.
* Scott Bieda scored his first career goal
* Cannons move to 5-1 all time against the Launch
* BostonCannons.com for more info