MLL: Hammerheads hand Cannons surprising loss

Trevor Smyth and Robert Mooney of the Connecticut Hammerheads shake a loose ball free from the Boston Cannons’ Kyle Jackson. July 23, 2020. (Photo credit: MLL/Pretty Instant)

The Boston Cannons (2-2) entered the MLL tournament as a favourite to win the championship but have found themselves on the losing end of things two more times than they wanted. Falling to the defending champions was perhaps unsurprising, but they did themselves no favours on Thursday, falling 11-8 to the Connecticut Hammerheads (2-2).

The Cannons had added to their offense by trading for Bryce Wasserman and Randy Staats. But even that star power combined with Mark Cockerton, the Cannons have proven themselves to be slow starters in all their games and find themselves having to come from behind most of the time.

Versus the Hammerheads, the offense proved meagre as the second quarter started tied 1-1. The story of the first was an astounding eight and a half minutes in penalties (including a 5-minute unsportsmanlike by Boston’s Bryan Cole). The Cannons forged a 5-2 lead over Boston by halftime. Boston looked quite in control as they were about to force their opponents to be the ones to play catch up.

Connecticut jumped on board the comeback train, outscoring Boston 4-1 in the third for a 6-6 tie. And the Hammerheads wouldn’t be denied, again outscoring the Cannons in the fourth, 5-2. Wasserman scored the only two goals for Boston in the final quarter. Both teams find themselves still alive for the moment.

Bradley “Bubba” Voigt and Ben Martin led Connecticut with three goals each as Wasserman and Kyle Jackson each scored twice for Boston. Faceoffs proved almost even as Justin Schwenk went 11-23 for the Hammerheads while Kevin Reisman and Nate Farrell combined for 12-23 for Boston. Nick Marrocco made 13 saves for the Cannons only to see his counterpart Sean Sconone make a whopping 22 saves to earn the win.

Both teams are back in action on Friday with a chance to solidify playoff positions. At this point, neither team is guaranteed their spot, but with Philadelphia having completed regular season play, their fates are in their own hands. Boston needs to come out strong and keep the pressure on the first place Outlaws and avoid costly penalties against a Denver team on a mission, while Connecticut needs to win the possession battle and keep the ball away from the Chesapeake offense.