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xtra xtra!
Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
Rooney Real Estate
Posted August 18, 2005
Cannons Aim For Title
By Paul Noonan

     With the biggest move of the off- season and coming off a runner- up performance, the Cannons seemed like a lock for the postseason.  Only about halfway through, it would’ve taken a mammoth collapse for them to lose the playoff spot, and first place in the conference.  The Cannons only slipped up twice this year en route to a 10-2 record.  Their first round opponent and second place finisher, Long Island, finished a weak 4-8.  However, the Cannons still have two wins left.

     Unlike last year, the Cannons did not boast the league’s leading scorer as Gary Gait of Baltimore took home the title.  However, Conor Gil did lead the league in assists again this year, further establishing himself as one of the game’s best playmakers.  Yet this year the team appeared to take more of a Patriots approach and win games with strong defense and teamwork.  Almost every guy on the team, including the rookies, pitched in  some positive form on many occasions.  The team which had a weak defense last year was ranked in the top two for each key team defensive category.  Certainly aided by more consistent goaltending (and strong goaltending at that) the Cannons improved defensive play lead to at least two of their victories. And if the Cannons hope to win the title, a road which likely will lead to a match- up with the National Divisions on 10-2 team Baltimore, defense will be a key component.  With Gary Gait likely to cause some problems, the Cannons will have to play sound defense if they would hope to beat Baltimore.

     First the Cannons must get through the Lizards.  A perfect 3-0 against Long Island during the regular season, it looks like the Cannons have their number, but certainly they cannot overlook their opponent.  The division rivals have seen enough of each other this year that they have grown accustomed to each other as well as picked up on strengths and weaknesses.  The Cannons will have to capitalize on Long Island’s weaknesses as well as working on their own weaknesses in order to avoid a devastating first round upset.  This match- up will also put some pressure on Mark Millon.  The off- season addition was brought in with the hope that he would be the final piece to help the Cannons to the championship that just eluded them last year.  A strong presence in the regular season, Millon must be even stronger in the postseason.  The good part of all of this however, is that the Cannons will have home field advantage (again).  With ‘Championship Weekend’ being held at Nickerson Field, the Cannons will have a bit of an edge playing on their own turf with their own fans.  So once again, the Cannons will try to join the Sox and Patriots in bringing more trophies to Boston.



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