Playoffs Race Tightens As Blazers Prepare For Critical Two-Game Weekend
Boston MA (April 2, 2009) - The Boston Blazers (7-5) begin the final month of their inaugural regular season campaign playing critical back-to-back contests against the Toronto Rock (5-8) and Buffalo Bandits (8-4) this weekend. The playoff race is heating up as Boston is locked in a tight race for East Division supremacy trailing first place Bandits by one game and is tied with the New York Titans (7-5) for second place with four games remaining on its regular season calendar.
After enjoying a perfect 5-0 record in February to improve to 7-3 at the beginning of March, the Blazers dropped both of their games in March with tough losses to Toronto (9-8 in OT on 3/14) and Rochester (11-10 on 3/28). Despite the setbacks, the Blazers remain in the thick of the playoff race and enter April holding their postseason fate in their own hands. The team plays its last four regular season contests against East Division foes including two matchups against Buffalo.
Blazers All-Star forward Dan Dawson (24 goals, 56 assists - 80 total points is 3rd in NLL) and rookie sensation Daryl Veltman (team-high 25 goals is T-12th in NLL, 33 assists) pace the Boston offense. Other important offensive contributors include Matt Lyons (16 goals, 25 assists) Brenden Thenhaus (17 goals, 22 assists) and Gary Bining (16 goals, 19 assists).
Defensively, goalie Anthony Cosmo continues to lead a Boston defense that has held opponents to 10 or less points in seven of the last nine games. Overall, Cosmo ranks third in the NLL with a 10.21 goals against average and a .777 save percentage.
The Blazers begin their two-game back-to-back set by traveling to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to face the Rock on Friday night at 7:30 PM. This marks the second meeting of the season for the two teams as the Rock bested the Blazers, 9-8 in overtime, on March 14 at the TD Banknorth Garden. The loss snapped Boston's five-game winning streak. The Blazers, who trailed 5-2 at the half and 6-2 early in the third quarter, stormed back to tie the game 7-7 at 10:09 of the fourth quarter before the teams traded goals to close out regulation knotted at 8-8. Less than a minute later, the Blazers winning streak was snapped as the Rock's Scott Campbell buried the game winner 37 seconds into overtime to improve Toronto's record to 3-7. Dan Dawson (two goals and three assists) and Matt Lyons (two goals and one assist) paced the Blazers attack. Boston goalie Anthony Cosmo stopped 43 of 52 shots to lead the Boston defense. For Toronto, Luke Wiles (three goals, two assists) and Kasey Beirnes (two goals) paced the Rock offense and Toronto Goalie Bob Watson stopped 47 of 55 shots.
On Saturday, Boston returns home to face its toughest test to date - a matchup against the reigning NLL Champions and East Division leading Buffalo Bandits at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Bandits are led Mark Steenhuis (NLL leading 41 goals, 43 assists) and John Tavares (36 goals, 32 assists) and goalie Ken Montour (NLL leading 9.04 goals against average and .818 save percentage).
Blazers Last Game
Last Saturday at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, the Blazers dropped its second straight contest losing an 11-10 decision to the Knighthawks. For Boston, Daryl Veltman led the way with three goals and three assists and Dan Dawson added a goal and five assists. Anthony Cosmo stopped 35 of 46 shots.
April 3 at Toronto, 7:30 PM
April 4 vs. Toronto, 7:30 PM
April 11 vs. Rochester, 7:30 PM
April 18 at Buffalo, 7:30 PM
Fans can watch all Blazers games live online and free of charge via the NLL Network at NLL.com.
Tickets for the Blazers home game against Toronto on Saturday, March 14 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.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from April 2, 2009
- Roughnecks Can Clinch Western Division This Weekend - Calgary Roughnecks
- Playoffs Race Tightens As Blazers Prepare For Critical Two-Game Weekend - Boston Blazers
- Six teams have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth this weekend - NLL
- Secore Scores Player-of-the-week Honor - Edmonton Rush
- Bob Watson Named Player Of The Month - Toronto Rock
- Toronto Goaltender and San Jose forward honored for great March play - NLL
- Rock Host Boston Blazers Tomorrow - Toronto Rock
- Swarm Plays Two Games This Weekend - Minnesota Swarm
- Rush Face Pivotal Weekend Starting with Jax - Edmonton Rush
- Boston Blazers To Battle Buffalo Bandits - Boston Blazers
- Amerks And Knighthawks Raise $15,026.71 For Breast Cancer Research - Rochester Knighthawks
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