After missing the Boston Cannons’ season opener because he was late getting back from his college coaching duties, it took Matt Poskay all of 16 seconds to score his first goal of the 2012 Major League Lacrosse season.
The Cannons’ all-time leading scorer finished with a game-high five goals, as Boston forced the expansion Charlotte Hounds to wait another week for their first win, with a 20-12 victory in front of 9,273 at Harvard Stadium on Saturday.
‘‘It was good to get back out there,’’ said Poskay, who led the Cannons with 30 goals last season. ‘‘To be honest, [scoring on the first possession] was a nice way to get into the game as fast as possible and I just rolled from there.’’
Charlotte, who fell to 0-2 on the season, continued to hang around until Boston’s nine-goal third quarter, when the Cannons took advantage of a planned goalie chance by Charlotte. The Hounds replaced Joe Marra, who had turned in a solid performance in the first half (stopping 8 of 15 shots) with Adam Ghitelman to start the third period.
Ghitelman didn’t have nearly the success of Marra, stopping just two of the Cannons’ next 11 shots, as Boston entered the final quarter with a seven-goal edge, leading 16-9.
‘‘We weren’t getting into our offense, or we were getting into our offense late into the shot clock,’’ said Cannons first-year coach Steve Duffy, whose club improved to 2-0. ‘‘We were just pressing a little bit and we talked about not doing that at halftime and I think that we had some success in the second half.
‘‘The great thing about our guys is that they listen, they want to win, they want to play hard, and they want what to be coached.’’
Cannons goalkeeper Jordan Burke, who set a MLL record last weekend by limiting Rochester to three goals, continued his solid play in net for the Cannons, turning away 14 of 26 shots.
The Cannons spent the majority of the game on the attack, thanks to Chris Eck, who took advantage of the Hounds’ struggling faceoff game (Charlotte won just 12 of 32 last week), winning 23 of 36 draws.
In the first period, Brian Farrell followed up Poskay’s early effort with a strike of his own to put the Cannons up, 2-0, 2 1/2 minutes into the game. The Hounds rebounded to score the next two goals, as Justin Smith’s transition strike tied the game at two with 6:54 left in the first.
Goals from Ryan Boyle and Michael Stone sent the Cannons into the second quarter leading, 4-2.
Poskay was responsible for two of the Cannons’ second period goals, using his ability to find weak spots in the Hounds’ defense to register his hat trick with 7:05 to play in the half.
Poskay continued his solid play in the third, tallying strikes four and five of the game.
“It’s all just off-ball movement,” said Poskay. “That’s what I do best. I kept working on it and we have obviously great dodgers that draw sliding teams and when they side I’ve got to move off ball and do my part.”
Also scoring in the third was newcomer and talented midfielder, Bill McGlone, whom the Cannons picked up in this season’s expansion draft.
Ghitelman continued to struggle in the final frame, allowing four more Boston goals, including one from Waltham native Jon Hayes.
‘‘I’m very happy with our offensive production,’’ said Duffy, whose team has scored 35 goals in two games, ‘‘but we’ve still got some work to do.’’
Matt Danowski (one goal, two assists) and Jovan Miller (two goals, one assist) led the Hounds offensive attack, while Ryan Boyle (one goal, five assists) turned in a six-point night for the Cannons’ to lead all scorers.
Paul Rabil, who entered the game leading the league in points with eight, had a relatively quite night for the Cannons, registering two goals and two assists – all in the second half.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer