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Conestoga grads Ricci, Heim help Boston reach finals of MLL championships at Annapolis

Saturday, 27th August 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Pro  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/27/11
From Press Releases and Staff Reports

ANNAPOLIS, Md. Boston Cannons attackman Max Quinzani completed his hat trick with 1.2 seconds on the clock to give the Cannons a 14-13 win over the reigning MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks in the first semi-final game of the 2011 Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial.

Conestoga grads P.T. Ricci and Pat Heim each enjoyed standout games for the Cannons, who advanced to Sunday’s title game (3 p.m.) when they will face the Hamilton Nationals – an 11-9 winner over the Denver Outlaws.

Ricci, a defenseman, had a goal and five groundballs and Heim had a goal and a groundball.

It was the Cannons’ second post-season win in the team’s 11-year history as they defeated the defending champions – who traded Ricci to Boston just before the season began. The Cannons look to win their first ever MLL Championship title during tomorrow’s Championship game at 3:00 p.m., broadcast live on ESPN2.

“All season, this team has handled adversity and has shown resilience,” said Cannons head coach Bill Daye. “Once again, we played to the last whistle to get the W.”

Under steady rainfall, the game began with sloppy play from both sides as Chesapeake jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against the flat Cannons. Bayhawks’ attackman Brian Carroll was the first to score, followed quickly by Kyle Dixon and Matt Abbott. Pat Heim scored the first goal for the Cannons – and the last goal of the quarter – with 7:56 to play, ending the first at 3-1 Bayhawks.

The second quarter began just like the first, with Dan Hardy, Brian Carroll and Jeff Reynolds scoring the first three goals for the Bayhawks, giving Chesapeake a commanding 6-1 lead. But the Cannons woke up and closed out the quarter with a four-goal run. Rookie long pole Brian Farrell scored his first career post-season goal on a feed from JJ Morrissey to jumpstart the Cannons.Then Quinzani, Paul Rabil and Brad Ross each scored unassisted within two minutes to end the first half down one goal, 6-5.

Danny Glading opened the second half scoring with a goal for the Bayhawks. Greg Downing scored next on a feed from Quinzani, which was answered by an unassisted Mike Kimmel goal to put the Bayhawks up 8-6. It was all Cannons after that, with Quinzani scoring his second followed by Matt Poskay’s only goal to tie the game at 8. Ryan Boyle scored with less than a minute to play to give the Cannons their first lead going in the final 15 minutes.

The Cannons’ scoring run continued in the fourth quarter, as Kevin Buchanan found the back of the net to take a 10-8 lead. Mike Stone punished Chesapeake goalie Chris Garrity for leaving the cage on a clear, stripping the ball to set up a Rabil to Morrissey to Farrell goal. Chris Eck won the ensuing face off and PT Ricci picked up the ground ball and scored. Stone rounded out the seven unanswered goals with an unassisted shot to put the Cannons up 13-8.

But Chesapeake mounted a comeback with a goal from Steven Brooks, two straight from Kyle Dixon, including a two-pointer, and Ben Hunt’s game-tying point blank shot with 37 seconds to play.

Then, with 1.2 seconds on the clock, Boyle found Quinzani who snuck a low shot past Garrity, completing his hat trick and putting the Cannons in position to win their first MLL Championship.

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