Poskay, Cannons fired up for opener
When the alarm sounds on Saturday morning, don’t expect Matt Poskay to hit the snooze button.
The Boston Cannons attackman and Wagner College lacrosse coach is set to cram as much into the day as possible.
At noon, Wagner plays its final conference game of the season against Mount St. Mary’s.
Win or lose, Poskay won’t have time to linger. The Cannons’ all-time leading scorer has a 4 p.m. flight to catch from New Jersey to Boston, where the Cannons are scheduled to open their season at 7 against the Rochester Rattlers at Harvard Stadium.
The Cannons, who are coming off their first Major League Lacrosse championship, are hoping Poskay receives the Doug Mirabelli treatment, as general manager Kevin Barney acknowledged that he is trying to arrange a police escort for the 2010 league MVP.
“It’s going to be a busy day, but kind of exciting, you know?’’ said Poskay. “It gets your adrenaline going to be able to pull something off like that.
“On Saturday when it’s time to coach, I’m going to be ready. And when it’s time to be a player, I’m going to be ready for that, too.’’
The Cannons survived the offseason and expansion draft for the Charlotte Hounds and Ohio Machine with its roster mostly intact.
The most significant change comes on the sideline, where Steve Duffy has replaced longtime coach Bill Daye, who retired after last season.
Duffy, who coached at Waltham High School for 18 seasons, was an assistant for the Cannons the last three seasons, and his local connections and experience with the team made the decision to promote him easy for Barney.
“Once we had our final list down to three candidates, the guys on the team that we talked with all gave Coach Duffy the nod,’’ said Barney. “They said that they appreciate having someone here who knows them and knows what it takes to win.’’
Duffy acknowledged that dealing with personnel moves and the expansion draft was a new experience, but said that now that the season is here, things are returning to normal.
“This isn’t new to me,’’ he said. “I’ve been through the rigors of an MLL season and it’s been an adjustment up until now, but what I’m doing now is what I know.’’
The Cannons managed to retain their players, except midfielders Max Quinzani and Greg Dowling, and backup goaltender Kip Turner.
Quinzani’s uncertainty over his availability given his job at Morgan Stanley led the Cannons to leave their No. 3 scorer unprotected in the expansion draft.
Dowling asked the Cannons not to protect him because he planned to attend graduate school in Denver, and Turner was expendable, given the emergence of Jordan Burke.
Look for Bill McGlone, whom the Cannons selected from the Denver Outlaws in the expansion draft, to be a force in the midfield once the National Lacrosse League season ends.
McGlone is a seven-year veteran and has been a steady contributor wherever he’s played, averaging 13.6 goals per season.
Joining McGlone on the list of NLL players that are inactive to start the Cannons season are defensive player of the year Mitch Belisle, attackman Kevin Buchanan, and midfielder Pat Heim.
“We had 19 guys play for us on championship weekend and 17 of them are back with us,’’ said Barney. “I didn’t want to tinker too much with success.’’