Tag: Dan Dawson

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.”

Boston Blazers “Playing For Our Playoff Lives”

By Stacey Kilpatrick

BOSTON, MA – The Rochester Knighthawks [7-5] clinched a playoff spot Saturday night at the TD Garden after beating – literally – their East Division rival Boston Blazers [6-8] in a 19-8 game that was more like a Bruins-Canadiens match with all the pounding.

“A couple of scrums,” Boston Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer said.

Actually, a couple is two. There were 14 penalties for fighting and roughing. At one point it was looking like a UFC match, with gloves flying off, jersey’s being ripped up and players laying on top of one another in the straddle position, fists cementing faces.

“[Kyle] Rubisch had a good one with [Jarrett] Davis there; that’s just a lacrosse fight,” Sawyer continued. “Two guys going at it. The second half there I guess we were just trying to show a little fight in ourselves that we weren’t happy with what was going on. But to be honest it was nice to see it when we saw it.”

Well the teams fought with their fists, but their sticks, Rochester held the upper cuts on that end, clearly, and to Rochester coach Mike Hasen’s loving.

“We just want to come out here and play our game …. Tonight we caught [Boston] at a good time where they’re struggling a little bit.”

The Blazers put down a dreadful performance and Sawyer stated the obvious when he said that losing five games in a row sucks.

“It’s tough, and asking me after that performance out there it’s even worse,” Sawyer said. “It’s something that we’re all going to remember for a long time … right now what’s foremost in our mind is that abysmal effort.”

Boston wasn’t catching any breaks and goalie Anthony Cosmo was having difficulty catching the ball, saving 22 of 41 shots.

Rochester’s Sean Williams put the Knighthawks on the board at 10:47 in the first quarter and from there the Knighthawks kept barreling Cosmo.

At the half, Boston was down 9-3, with Rochester goals from Davis, Craig Point and Cory Vitarelli, two by Cody Jamieson and three from Jordan Hall.

Jamie Rooney, Kevin Buchanan and Dan Dawson put the three in for Boston, but the scores didn’t do much; they didn’t instill confidence in the Blazers and the goals certainly didn’t inflict fear in the non-wobbling knees of the Knighthawks.

“First half we had nine goals on the board that we gave up and five times we had that ball in our stick before the ball went in the net. Just terribly sloppy at this point in the season,” Sawyer said.

He admitted to thinking of putting Nick Rose in the game when they were down with 1:00 left in the third.

“I told Rose he was going in.”

Well, why didn’t you put Rose in when you were down six?

“They scored a goal on [Cosmo]. But Cos, being a veteran goalie, he likes a lot of shots so I gave him the opportunity to stay in there,” Sawyer said.

But you’re the coach. You have the say. If you want to win, pull out your goalie whose missing most blocks left, right, straight and upside-down.

“I 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 and he wanted to stay in there. If I hadn’t known that it was going to turn into a shooting gallery on the power-play I certainly would have pulled him.”

Sawyer added that, “We look to score early and look to score often and neither is happening right now; not early nor often. So we’ll continue to work at it.”

Maybe the Blazers will end their five-game failure streak when they face Philadelphia next Saturday, April 9, in their final regular season game.

“We’re in a must-win next week against Philadelphia. It’s essentially playing for our playoff lives.”

Boston Blazers "Playing For Our Playoff Lives"

By Stacey Kilpatrick

BOSTON, MA – The Rochester Knighthawks [7-5] clinched a playoff spot Saturday night at the TD Garden after beating – literally – their East Division rival Boston Blazers [6-8] in a 19-8 game that was more like a Bruins-Canadiens match with all the pounding.

“A couple of scrums,” Boston Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer said.

Actually, a couple is two. There were 14 penalties for fighting and roughing. At one point it was looking like a UFC match, with gloves flying off, jersey’s being ripped up and players laying on top of one another in the straddle position, fists cementing faces.

“[Kyle] Rubisch had a good one with [Jarrett] Davis there; that’s just a lacrosse fight,” Sawyer continued. “Two guys going at it. The second half there I guess we were just trying to show a little fight in ourselves that we weren’t happy with what was going on. But to be honest it was nice to see it when we saw it.”

Well the teams fought with their fists, but their sticks, Rochester held the upper cuts on that end, clearly, and to Rochester coach Mike Hasen’s loving.

“We just want to come out here and play our game …. Tonight we caught [Boston] at a good time where they’re struggling a little bit.”

The Blazers put down a dreadful performance and Sawyer stated the obvious when he said that losing five games in a row sucks.

“It’s tough, and asking me after that performance out there it’s even worse,” Sawyer said. “It’s something that we’re all going to remember for a long time … right now what’s foremost in our mind is that abysmal effort.”

Boston wasn’t catching any breaks and goalie Anthony Cosmo was having difficulty catching the ball, saving 22 of 41 shots.

Rochester’s Sean Williams put the Knighthawks on the board at 10:47 in the first quarter and from there the Knighthawks kept barreling Cosmo.

At the half, Boston was down 9-3, with Rochester goals from Davis, Craig Point and Cory Vitarelli, two by Cody Jamieson and three from Jordan Hall.

Jamie Rooney, Kevin Buchanan and Dan Dawson put the three in for Boston, but the scores didn’t do much; they didn’t instill confidence in the Blazers and the goals certainly didn’t inflict fear in the non-wobbling knees of the Knighthawks.

“First half we had nine goals on the board that we gave up and five times we had that ball in our stick before the ball went in the net. Just terribly sloppy at this point in the season,” Sawyer said.

He admitted to thinking of putting Nick Rose in the game when they were down with 1:00 left in the third.

“I told Rose he was going in.”

Well, why didn’t you put Rose in when you were down six?

“They scored a goal on [Cosmo]. But Cos, being a veteran goalie, he likes a lot of shots so I gave him the opportunity to stay in there,” Sawyer said.

But you’re the coach. You have the say. If you want to win, pull out your goalie whose missing most blocks left, right, straight and upside-down.

“I 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 and he wanted to stay in there. If I hadn’t known that it was going to turn into a shooting gallery on the power-play I certainly would have pulled him.”

Sawyer added that, “We look to score early and look to score often and neither is happening right now; not early nor often. So we’ll continue to work at it.”

Maybe the Blazers will end their five-game failure streak when they face Philadelphia next Saturday, April 9, in their final regular season game.

“We’re in a must-win next week against Philadelphia. It’s essentially playing for our playoff lives.”

Blazers Late Rally Comes Up Short, Buffalo Hands Boston a 9-8 loss

It was an extremely valiant effort for the home town team, but Sunday’s may not be consider a typical winning day in their franchise, as the Boston Blazers fell to Buffalo, 9-8. The Bandits not only left the TD Garden with an exceptional win, but also returned to second place in the NLL East standings.

After 30-minutes of lacrosse, the Bandits led the Blazers, 6-3, but Buffalo would add to their small lead when Travis Irving and John Tavares added two additional goals before an exciting fourth quarter, which saw five goals scored between each team.

Trailing, 8-4, Boston rallied back, as Dan Dawson netted three goals, while Nick Cotter recorded one. However, Buffalo’s Clay Hill eventually scored the go-ahead goal, which secured the win for the Bandits.

Boston did not receive the help needed in net, as goaltender Anthony Cosmo allowed eight goals and then was replaced by back-up goalie, Nick Rose, who allowed the game winner.

Buffalo’s goaltender Mike Thompson played the entire four quarters, but allowed eight goals, as well as saved 27 of the 35 shots on net.

Boston will leave the comforts of the TD Garden and head out on a three game road trip, which includes stops in Buffalo, Colorado and Washington before returning home in April.

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.