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Boston Blazers Draw Good Crowd but Drop Home Opener 13-9

January 17, 2009 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Boston Blazers News Release

Boston, Mass. - In the franchise's first home opener at TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday night, the Boston Blazers lost its second straight game to the New York Titans, 13-9.

The Blazers (0-2) - who also lost to the Titans (2-0) by a mark of 19-14 on Jan. 10 in the team's National Lacrosse League debut - got four goals from Daryl Veltman and three from Brenden Thenhaus as 9,313 fans looked on. Titans forward Casey Powell led the Titans with three goals and six assists.

"It was a special night," Blazers coach Tom Ryan said. "Obviously we hoped for a better result but the fact that the fans came out and supported us like they did is very encouraging. We all feel very lucky to play in the Boston Garden in front of Boston fans."

Late offensive efforts by the Blazers, however, weren't enough to overcome two first-half four-goal blitzes by the Titans in both the first and second quarters to give New York a 9-4 halftime lead.

The Blazers got off to a rough start before play even started when Boston's Kyle Ross and New York's Patrick Merrill were both booked for roughing just before the first ball was dropped. Then the Titans got on the scoreboard 21 seconds into the contest when Casey Powell beat Blazers goalie Anthony Cosmo. The Blazers responded just more than a minute later with Jason Bloom's equalizing goal but New York proceeded to post its first four-goal stand with scores from Greg Peyser, two more from Powell and one from Mike McLellan.

The Blazers finally stopped the bleeding at the 13:21 mark of the opening period with Veltman's first goal to cut the lead 5-2. Earlier in the period, Veltman flashed across the crease from the right to the left before putting it over goalie Matt Vinc's left shoulder and plowing into him. Veltman stepped in the crease, however, and the score was called off.

The Titans second four-goal blitz gave them a 9-2 advantage and spanned nearly four minutes from the 9:32 mark to the 5:40 mark of the second quarter. This time Thenhaus - who scored four goals in the Blazer's season opener, including the franchise's first ever - broke the scoring streak by netting consecutive goals that came a minute apart.

After the first two goals of the second quarter, Boston pulled Cosmo from net and sent in Mike Poulin, who let up four more goals in the quarter.

In the second half, the Blazers got five goals, including three from Veltman alone, but gave up another four goals. Two of Veltman's goals came in the final minutes after Poulin was pulled.

The biggest cheers of the night came halfway through the final quarter when Blazer defender Mitch Belisle came out of the penalty box and blindsided Jarett Park, knocking the ball and the wind from Park. After the play was replayed several times on the scoreboard, the Titans Rory Smith and the Blazers Paul Dawson immediately dropped their gloves and squared off in the center circle before going to the box on fighting penalties.

"That was one in a 100 chance I just happened to be coming out of the box and he wasn't looking at me," Belisle said. "Jarett is one of my good friends and I would expect him to do the exact same thing to me if I was in that situation. I'm interested to go talk to him after the game.

"I got the crowd fired up, the team fired up, which is good. But hopefully we can get one of those earlier in the game next time and we can get the spark we need right away."

Blazers Next Game: @Philadelphia Wings on 1/23 and home vs.Wings on 1/24

The Blazers take on the Philadelphia Wings in a home-and-home series next Friday (1/23) and Saturday (1/24). The team travels to the "City of Brotherly Love" for the first contest and face-off against the Wings the following night (Saturday, January 24) at 7:30 PM at the TD Banknorth Garden. Tickets for the Blazers-Wings game are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting, and via Ticketmaster or the TD Banknorth Garden box office.

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