Blazer Suspend Operations for 2012 Season

By NoontimeSports.com 

According to the Boston Blazers website, the National League Lacrosse team has decided to suspend operations for the 2012-13 season. The team announced the news of their decision this past week on their Facebook page, as well as hopes to find a new arena in the city to partner with for the future.

Team president and general manager Doug Reffue wrote the following to the Red and White fan base on the Blazers homepage:

To the Blazers Community –  

The Boston Blazers have temporarily suspended operations for the 2012 National Lacrosse League (NLL) season as we begin the initial steps to relocate the team to a new home facility for the 2013 season.  We have initiated a six-month strategic plan under my direction to evaluate prospective home arena venues, both locally and nationally, where the Blazers can play the 2013 campaign and beyond.

The Blazers’ business operations will be maintained in an “offseason” capacity throughout the 2012 season.  The club will continue to host its youth related community programs and philanthropic activities.

All season tickets purchased for the 2012 season will be refunded in full. If you have questions regarding season tickets, please call our front office at 1-888-BLAZERS. 

This temporary suspension represents the first phase of a relocation process as the Blazers evaluate potential home venues for the 2013 NLL season and beyond.  We are interested in partnering with an arena where we can build on the momentum created over the past three seasons and forge a long-term win-win relationship between the team, the local corporate community and a facility operator. 

In the last three years, the Boston Blazers have enjoyed a strong, enthusiastic and ever growing base of fans in Boston.  Thank you for this support – it’s been a privilege to represent the city of Boston in the NLL and be part of this community.    We will keep you informed as the Blazers march toward the 2013 season.  We look forward to sharing information about the Blazers’ next chapter in the weeks and months to come on our website (www.blazerslacrosse.com) and Facebook page – facebook.com/bostonblazers.  

Again, thank you for the continued support. It’s been an honor playing for you.

Doug Reffue, Boston Blazers President and General Manager

Joe Andruzzi on the Boston Blazers, Football and Overcoming Cancer

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, MA – Former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi was at the TD Garden on Saturday evening, cheering on the Boston Blazers to a 9-7 win against the Philadelphia Wings, but also was promoting his foundation, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. A portion of Saturday’s tickets were donated to the foundation in helping cure cancer and providing the support families need.

Andruzzi, a cancer survivor was able to comment on his foundation, as well as express what it meant to partner with the Boston Blazers.

“We’re getting the message out because you don’t know what tomorrow brings,” said Andruzzi. “It takes a toll on you, your bank account, bills and everything. Cancer’s not cheap. I went through my battle with cancer [and] we started the foundation and wanted to help others [who needed] financial assistance.”

“It’s great that we can do this and pay it forward and it’s great being partners with the Boston Blazers. It’s a great thing, it’s a great organization here to partner up [with] and get the awareness out there and see what we’re all about.”

Andruzzi also mentioned that he, as well as his family are big supporters of the Blazers, but also the sports of lacrosse.

“It’s a lot of fun to come watch these guys play, I got three out of four of my kids that are lacrosse players and I myself was a lacrosse player. I love the sport, it’s pretty intense [and] I love watching it,” said Andruzzi.

Lastly, Andruzzi commented on the current situation of the NFL. As a former player, he seemed rather confident that both the players and owners will work out an agreement for a season come September.

“I think when push comes to shove, when we get closer to opening day it’s going to be tough not to have a season,” said Andruzzi. “We’ll see.”

For more information, visit his website, Joe Andruzzi Foundation.

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 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.”