Tag: Casey Powell

Dan Dawson Leads Boston Past Philly, 9-7, Blazers Clinch Playoff Spot

By Brian Willwerth

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Blazers are heading back to the playoffs, thank in large part to the Dan Dawson show.

Dawson had five goals, and the Blazers hung on in the second half for a 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Wings, before a crowd of 9,654 at TD Garden.

It didn’t take the Blazers long to get rolling. Casey Powell scored just 18 seconds into the contest against Brandon Miller to give Boston a 1-0 lead.  The Wings responded about 2 and a half minutes later, as Brandon Mundorf beat Anthony Cosmo to tie the game at one. But Boston came storming back with 2 goals just :19 apart.  Nick Cotter scored on the power play, followed by a quick tally by Dan Dawson.

After Matt Danowski pulled the Wings to within a goal, Dawson capped the first period scoring with a goal in the final minute.  Boston led 4-2 after one quarter.

“We liked the whole week leading up to (the game),” said Blazers’ head coach Matt Sawyer.  “It’s been a tough time for the last six weeks with this group, and it hasn’t been overly fun.  But everything was positive this week and we had real good feelings.”

The Blazers kept the pressure on in the second quarter with a pair of power-play goals.  Kevin Buchanan and Powell did the honors to give the Blazers a 6-2 lead.  Cosmo kept the Wings off the scoreboard in the second 15 minutes of play.

Penalties were a big part of the first half.  The Wings were sent to the box 8 times.  The Blazers were whistled four times.
The Blazers started off the second half much like they did the first, and once again it was Dawson, with a tremendous wrap-around goal to beat Miller.

But then the Wings’ offense came to life with two goals in the final three minutes of the quarter, including one by Drew Westervelt with 0.8 left. Boston held a 7-5 advantage after three quarters.

Things got even tighter in the fourth, as Westervelt tallied his third goal of the game, followed by Ryan Boyle’s second of the night.  That made it 8-7.  But with just over three minutes to play, Dawson took an outlet pass from Cosmo, broke in alone and beat Miller for his fifth goal of the night to make it 9-7.

“I really haven’t shot the ball well this season,” said Dawson. “It’s just a testament to how good my teammates are at getting me open…..to have an outlet pass like that is a layup, so I got lucky and snuck a few by Brandon.”

The Blazers have one more regular season game left against Buffalo.  For now, they’re savoring the clinching of a playoff spot.

“The locker room as jumping up and down, dancing and chatting, it was a great atmosphere,” said Blazers’ forward Casey Powell.  “Now we’re concentrating on trying to win a championship.”

Blazers Extend Losing Streak, Look to Rebound against Philadelphia

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, MA – This was not your typical National Lacrosse League contest, but instead, a boxing match between two physical teams that desperately needed wins.

Although, after they kicked, scream, yelled and played tough physical lacrosse, the Rochester Knighthawks [7-5] earned their seventh win of the season, as well as clinched a playoff spot after their 19-8 thrashing against the Boston Blazers [6-8].

“[It] sucks,” stated Boston Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer. “It’s tough and asking me after that performance out there was even worse [and it’s] something that we’re all going to remember for a long time.”

Boston’s last win came on February 19, against Minnesota. Josh Sanderson recorded four goals and Casey Powell added six assists, but ever since that Saturday evening, the Blazers have yet to add a win in their win column.

The Blazers have now lost five games in a row, which isn’t something that either Sawyer or his team likes to brag about.

“We’re not focused on that [because] we’re focusing right now what’s foremost in our mind, [which is our team’s] abysmal effort,” said Sawyer.

The Blazers shots weren’t crisp, their defense was horrendous, and their passes weren’t even on target.

Also, let’s not get started with goaltender, Anthony Cosmo, who only saved 22 of 41 shots on net, but has Sawyer said after the game, the goalie wanted to play the entire 60-minutes, which sounds sort of bizarre, right? Yet, Cosmo is a competitor and has always put his team first.

“He likes a lot of shots, so I gave him the opportunity to stay in there and asked him what he wanted to do in between the third and fourth [quarter] and he’s a proud guy and he likes to work. He wanted to stay in there. If I hadn’t known it was going to turn into a shooting gallery on the power-play, I certainly would have pulled him,” said Sawyer.

“We’re coming back with him against Philadelphia [next weekend], so if [Cosmo] wanted those shots in the fourth, he was getting them.”

Whether Cosmo should have been pulled is certainly a valuable question, but what the Blazers needed was something to get the squad fired up.

The Boston Blazers use the phrase, “fired up” before, during and after games, but nothing seemed to fire this particular squad up, especially not even the fights or various goals. Boston was flat, but Rochester took advantage of their poor play and executed their game plan. The Knighthawks scored early and often, as well as left the TD Garden with sole possession of third place in the East Division.

“It feels nice [to be in the playoffs],” said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen. “It’s something that [was] goal, I guess, so we got that far, [but have] more work to do.”

Hasen also commented on Boston’s five game losing streak, but primarily kept the attention on him, his team and their win.

“I can’t comment on what’s happening in their room,” said Hansen. “I just know what we have in our room and we just continually build and just keep moving forward, so that’s our focus. Our focus is us and I think we we’re just catching them at the right time [because] they are a good team and they’ll get out of this and they’ll be trouble when they do.”

After this particular loss, the Blazers are clearly unsure of where their 2011 future remains foggy and unknown. They could win out and most likely grab the final playoff spot in the East or end a season, which began with so much promise with two back-to-back losses.

Yet, Sawyer seems to have a plan and so does his staff and players. He wants to win, but the question, which remain is does he have enough energy and will power to motivate a team that can clearly contend for a championship?

“We’re anxious to get this turned around and we feel when we do, we know we can do some damage,” said Sawyer.

“Our first goal is to make the playoffs and from there on in is to advance. I believe in this team, of course, I [think] that we can win a championship or else, I wouldn’t be standing up here, so [yes], we’re anxious to get back out there and perform.”

Boston Blazers earn an important win against Toronto, 9-7

By Katherine Hansenauer Cornetta

BOSTON, MA – Two weekends ago, the Boston Blazers were handed their first defeat of the season against a high-powered Toronto Rock offense. On Saturday night, they played their best defensive game of the season so far to douse the Rock offense, winning 9-7.

Dan Dawson, who had found himself in the feeder role for most of this young season, broke out for 3 goals on a night where he admittedly took many more chances than he has been. He led the team with 11-shots on the night.

“This year, I hadn’t buried the ball when I got the opportunity,” Dawson explained during his post-game interview. “My shot percentage is down, and I haven’t shot the ball enough. I’ve found myself standing on the outside, being the feeder, and letting other guys do the grunt work. Tonight, I took more shots – I could have taken more – but I just need to keep burying the ball.”

The Blazers scored the game’s first goal for just the second time this season when Casey Powell and Ryan Powell got fancy with some behind the back shots to feed Geoff McNulty for a goal a mere four minutes into the game.

The Rock tied the game up on Garrett Billings first goal of a three goal night. Billings had been out last week with injury, and looked like a man on a mission during the first half. But, a renewed Boston defense were able to hold him and teammates Stephen LeBlanc and Colin Doyle at bay. While the Rock stayed neck in neck with the Blazers for most of the first quarter, they couldn’t match the Blazers’ offensive output through the second and third quarters, only coming within one in the waning moments of the fourth before Blazer Josh Sanderson buried a shot to put the game away.

“They were real good defensively. We couldn’t penetrate the scoring area, and we only had 14 shots on the first half, which is not good,” said Troy Cordingley. “We were chasing them the whole time, and we can’t play catch up with Boston.”

Sharing the spotlight Saturday night with Dawson was Kevin Buchanan, who also had 3 goals on the evening. Two of those goals were from long-range, penetrating through a transparent Rock defense. He demonstrates a clear chemistry with the Powell brothers, who assisted on two of those goals. The Powells combined had 9 assists on the evening, having a hand in 6 of the Blazers’ 9 goals.

“(The Powells) have a definite chemistry,” said Blazers coach Matt Sawyer. “I say anytime you can have brothers play together, it’s good. They grew up playing together, and you know that they’re going to battle for each other, and be on the same wavelength.”

What sealed the deal for Boston was a deeper focus on defense than in games past. Defense was a focus of the entire roster, with offensive studs like the Powells and Dawson contributing to stop the usually high-flying Rock offense. The defensive effort held Rock star Colin Doyle off the goal tally for one of the first time’s in recent memory.

The renewed defensive focus helped goaltender Anthony Cosmo, who saw a drastic drop in shots from the two teams’ last meeting (60 in January and 36 Saturday night.) The Blazers knew they had to being supporting their league leading goalie a bit more if they wanted to right the ship after they dropped three of their last four games.

“(Cosmo’s) the heart and soul of this team,” said Dawson. “He’s our backbone, and when he puts together an effort like he did tonight, he’s fun to watch. We’re going to ride him as far as he’ll take us.”

The Blazers (4-3) host the Colorado Mammoth (1-4) next Saturday night at the TD Garden.

Philadelphia Hands Boston Their Third Loss of the Season

BOSTON, MA – The TD Garden has hosted some crushing defeats, but Friday’s loss against the Philadelphia Wings (2-2) was sincerely heartbreaking. Philadelphia tallied five goals in the third quarter and one in the fourth to hand the Boston Blazers (2-3) their third loss in a row, 11-5.

“We came out with a lot of energy and played with our most consistent sixty minutes of the year. I like our team and they work hard, so I was happy to see the results of all their hard work,” said Philadelphia Head Coach John Tucker

“That effort wasn’t good enough tonight,” said Boston Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer.

During the first quarter the Blazers recorded three goals off of sixteen shots on Wings goaltender, Brandon Miller (43-saves), but forward Casey Powell responded to an early Wings goal, which tied the game, 1-1. Yet, the Wings responded immediately with their second goal of the evening, when Dan Hardy found an opening past Blazers goaltender, Anthony Cosmo (22-saves).

“We knew that [the Blazers] could stay close and put a run together,” said Tucker. “We were committed to playing the first five minutes as hard as we possibly could [and] try to stretch the lead, fortunately we did. We came out of the gates and extended our lead and playing with the lead, I thought our guys responded pretty well.”

The Blazers would not score again until the third period, but watched the Wings build an impressive 5-3 lead before halftime.

Both Alex Turner and Athan Iannucci scored during the second quarter to build the lead, which would expand after halftime. The Wings watched Turner and Iannucci, as well as Ryan McClelland combine for five goals in fifteen minutes.

“Philadelphia’s a real good team, they’re well coached and they’re going to put that kind of effort defensively and from the goaltending, [they’re] going to be tough for everyone and we approached that game like we were just [going] to walk through them,” said Sawyer.  “[We] can’t show up and just expect to win.”

Besides Dan Dawson’s two goals during the third period, the Blazers were held scoreless during the final fifteen minutes and were unable to tie the game or even pull out a dramatic win.

In fact, the Blazers allowed back-up goaltender Nick Rose an opportunity to play during the final 14-minutes of regulation, but despite his 10-saves, he did allow one goal.

“The boys played well in front of me, they were solid once I went in, just unfortunately we couldn’t put a couple more in the net, but it happens,” said Rose

Besides the poor play by the Blazers, the Wings were able to watch Miller play quite an impressive game, which clearly was something that impressed the 7,492 fans.

“[Brandon Miller] was off the charts. Boston is actually extremely talented, they had a lot of chances and he saved everything that he should of saved tonight and a lot of them had no chance, he made some incredible saves, but to Brandon’s credit, he’s been consistently good all year long,” said Tucker

With the loss, the Blazers will look to rebound on Saturday against the Rochester Knighthawks (2-1), a team that Boston has already lost to once this season.

“We need to forget [this loss] quick because [we have] Rochester [on Saturday] and there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves and there’s only one group that’s going to help us get out of this and that’s the group in that dressing room,” said Sawyer.

Boston Blazers Report (Casey Powell) on Noontime Sports the Podcast (1/27/11)

Dan Dawson (left) and Casey Powell (center).

Boston Blazers forward Casey Powell, joined Noontime Sports the Podcast on Thursday to talk about the season, playing back-t0-back NLL regular season games, as well as what its like to play in Boston, Massachusetts.

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