Blazers Clinch Playoff Berth in First Season of Play
Boston MA (April 9, 2009) - The Boston Blazers wish for a playoff berth came true last weekend as the team split its games against Toronto Rock (14-13 win on April 3) and Buffalo Bandits (15-11 loss on April 4) to clinch a spot in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) postseason. Boston (8-6) is battling New York Titans (8-6) for home field advantage in the opening round of the 2009 NLL playoffs as the teams are tied for second place in the East Division standings with two games remaining. The Blazers battle the Rochester Knighthawks (6-7) this weekend at the TD Banknorth Garden and close out their regular season on the road against Buffalo on April 18.
"When we started training camp in November our goal was to make the playoffs," said Blazers General Manager and Head Coach Tom Ryan. "It is nice to have clinched a spot, but our focus is on beating Rochester on Saturday and playing our best in our final two regular season games."
The Rochester Knighthawks head to the TD Banknorth Garden to battle the Blazers this Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 PM. This marks the second meeting of the season for the two teams as the Blazers dropped an 11-10 decision to the Knighthawks on March 28 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. In the loss, Daryl Veltman led the way for Boston with three goals and three assists and Dan Dawson added one goal and five assists. Goaltender Anthony Cosmo stopped 35 of 46 shots in net.
Blazers Last Games
Last weekend, the Blazers went 1-1 in the team's back-to-back set against Toronto on the road at the Air Canada Centre and the Buffalo Bandits at home at the TD Banknorth Garden.
On Friday night, Boston edged the Toronto Rock 14-13 paced by Blazers Anthony Cosmo (53 saves on 66 shots) and teammates Dan Dawson (two goals and seven assists) and Daryl Veltman (three goals). The Blazers started quickly with a 4-0 run on goals from forwards Matt Lyons, Gary Bining and Veltman and transition player Jay Thorimbert. After Toronto cut the score to 5-3 on a Lewis Ratcliff goal with 9:22 left in the second quarter, Veltman and Dawson scored the last two goals of the first half to give Boston a 7-3 lead. The Rock made things interesting early in the second half, scoring the first three goals to pull within one at 7-6. The two teams went back and forth for most of the remainder of the game, but the Blazers maintained their lead throughout and held on for the victory to split their season series with Toronto at 1-1.
On Saturday night, the Blazers started fast once again as the team jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first quarter but Buffalo stormed back to take control outscoring the Blazers 5-1 to square the game at 6-6 after one quarter of play and led 9-6 at the half. The Bandits never looked back the rest of the way despite the Blazers mounting a furious counterattack to edge to within one goal (10-9) early in the fourth quarter. However, Buffalo answered by outscoring Boston 5-2 the rest of the way for the victory. Boston was led by Bining (three goals, one assist), Brenden Thenhaus (three goals, one assist) and Lyons (three goals, one assist). Mike Poulin and Cosmo shared duties in net for Boston stopping 20 of 35 Buffalo shots.
Blazers All-Star forward Dan Dawson (26 goals, 66 assists - 92 total points is 2nd in NLL) and rookie sensation Daryl Veltman (team-high 28 goals is T-12th in NLL, 36 assists) pace the Boston offense. Other important offensive contributors include Matt Lyons (21 goals, 27 assists) Brenden Thenhaus (20 goals, 23 assists) and Gary Bining (20 goals, 24 assists).
April 11 vs. Rochester Knighthawks, 7:30 PM
April 18 at Buffalo, 7:30 PM
Tickets for the Blazers home game against Rochester on Saturday, April 11 at 7:30 PM at the TD Banknorth Garden are available now by logging onto www.BlazersLacrosse.com or calling 1-888-BLAZERS. Tickets are also available via Ticketmaster and at the TD Banknorth Garden box office.
Fans can watch all Blazers games live online and free of charge via the NLL Network at NLL.com.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from April 9, 2009
- Roughnecks Look To Secure Western Division With Win Over Portland - Calgary Roughnecks
- Rush Hope to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive - Edmonton Rush
- Dawson, Doyle and Duch chase single season scoring records - NLL
- Rush to Stuff a Bus - Edmonton Rush
- Rock Battle Philadelphia Wings This Weekend - Toronto Rock
- Blazers Clinch Playoff Berth in First Season of Play - Boston Blazers
- Wings to Honor Retired Superstar Jake Bergey this Saturday Night - Philadelphia Wings
- Blazers Seek Revenge Against The Rochester Knighthawks This Saturday - Boston Blazers
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