Last season the Boston Cannons missed the playoffs, and a big cause was their struggles on defense. The 2014 offseason was spent improving that defense with the trade for Brodie Merrill from Florida and the signing of Jack Reid away from the New York Lizards.
In their win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Sunday, defense was the key, along with goaltending, which also struggled in 2013. Jordan Burke made eight saves in the first half on the shots that did get to him. Merrill had a huge impact, forcing several turnovers that led to transition goals.
Mitch Belisle and Kyle Sweeney also had solid games, causing early turnovers that led the goals. The story of the day was the dominance of Merrill, who was a game changer with the Cannons defense. His stick work caused rushed passes and turnovers.
Reid made his return to the Cannons as well and also had a positive impact. Reid last played for the Cannons in 2012 when he played in 13 games and accumulated 18 ground balls. He returned in style on Sunday with a strong defensive game at Harvard Stadium.
Burke ended up with 15 saves on the game and after the game he credited his defense, while saying he was able to see the ball well. Reid also said the Cannons defenders who were there last year have a lot of pride and are trying to rebound from their 2014.
It looks like they are already on the right track.