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Blaze Use a Team Effort to Outlast Boston

August 10, 2019 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Atlanta Blaze News Release

Atlanta, GA - In an impressive showing, the Blaze were able to outpace the Boston Cannons for a 14-13 victory at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Atlanta moves on to 6-5 while Boston drops to 6-4 and now sit in second place in the MLL standings.

Boston attackman Mark Cockerton opened up scoring just 1:21 into the game, notching his 30th goal of the season. Attackman Mark Matthews would tie the game at one apiece with a highlight behind-the-back assist to lefty Shayne Jackson just a minute later.

Atlanta looked composed early, using a balanced offensive scheme to spark a six-goal first-quarter run with tallies coming from Jackson, Christian Mazzone, Brendan Sunday, Tommy Palasek and Liam Byrnes. Mazzone was involved early and often and showed his playmaking ability, finishing the game with five points on two goals and three assists.

The Blaze pushed to a 6-1 lead before Boston found the net with for James Burr's first goal of the season with three minutes left in the first. Burr would score again after corralling a Zach Goodrich rebound and Will Sands would add one more goal to chip away at a 6-4 Blaze lead.

Led by Shayne Jackson's four goals and lockdown netminding from Chris Madalon, the Blaze surged to a 9-4 lead at halftime. Madalon held the Cannons scoreless on six shots in the second quarter; including a noteworthy three straight saves within a five-second span with 8:50 left in the second. Madalon added to his impressive 2019 campaign by collecting 14 saves on 26 shots on goal for the night.

True to their resilient nature, Boston made adjustments at halftime and came surging back in the third quarter. The Cannons retaliated quickly with goals from Cockerton, Denhoff, and Zed Williams, tightening the game to a 9-7 score within three minutes. The two teams traded blows after a streaking Christian Mazzone scored to push the Blaze lead back to three with 10:44 left in the third.

After midfielder Bryan Cole found the net with a diving finish past goalie Nick Marrocco for an 11-7 lead, Boston midfielder Matthew Bertrams immediately responded with his first goal of the season with 9:20 left in the third.

Cole scored the final two of his three goals in the third quarter, using assists from Tommy Palasek to give the Blaze a 13-8 lead to start the fourth quarter. Tommy Palasek led Atlanta with six points (two goals, four assists) on the night.

Boston continued to claw back into the game with goals from Kyle Jackson and Zed Williams. Williams netted his second consecutive goal with a two-point goal past Madalon to make the score 13-11. Jackson would score a minute later to tighten the game at 13-12 with nine minutes left on the game clock.

Atlanta would extend their lead again when Brendan Sunday scored his second goal of the night with 6:26 left in the game. Defender Liam Byrnes and the Blaze defense would buckle down, allowing only one goal to Challen Rogers to thwart Boston's comeback attempt.

After racking up four assists on the night, Tommy Palasek now leads the Blaze 25 assists, which is one shy of tying the Blaze single season record. Palasek has a chance to not only break the record, but distance himself in the Blaze record books in the remaining five games of the regular season. Randy Staats and his 24 assists will be sure to be right on Palasek's heels once he returns from injury.

The Blaze go to 2-1 in the season series against the Cannons with both victories coming at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Atlanta will take on the New York Lizards next week, and are a major threat to the fourth and final playoff spot that the Blaze currently hold.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES

Shayne Jackson- four goals and one assist

Tommy Palasek- two goals and four assists

Mark Matthews- three assists

Bryan Cole- three goals

Christian Mazzone- two goals and three assists

Chris Madalon- 14 saves on 26 shots on goal

Liam Byrnes- one goal, three ground balls, and caused two turnovers


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