Tag: Philadelphia Wings

Does Bruce Cassidy Know There Was A New York Saints Team?

The New York Saints competed in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) from 1989 to 2003. (PHOTO COURTESY: SportsLogos.net)

By Matt Noonan

Bruce Cassidy did not hold back his emotions last night, especially after the Boston Bruins saw their comeback fall short to the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

New York defeated Boston, 5-4, to secure a 3-2 series lead heading into tomorrow’s match-up — the Bruins need a win to extend the series to Friday. A win by the Islanders would clinch the series and set up a Stanley Cup Playoffs semifinal matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning or Carolina Hurricanes (Tampa Bay current leads the series, 3-1).

Speaking with members of the media shortly after Monday’s contest concluded, Cassidy, who is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Boston Bruins, shared some interesting thoughts regarding the one-goal loss, specifically about the officiating while referring to his opponent as the “New York Saints.”

“I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” Cassidy told reporters when referring to calls that supposedly went in favor of his opponent, not the Bruins. “The exact calls that are getting called on us are not getting called on them. I don’t know why. You got the exact same high sticks … you just hope they’d see them.”

Cassidy’s post-game comments resulted in a $25,000 fine this morning, but his remarks about the “New York Saints” made me wonder if he knew there was an actual team — well, franchise, to be exact — that once competed in the National Lacrosse League (NLL)?

The New York Saints were indeed a team — in fact, they began as the New Jersey Saints. They were one of four teams to compete in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MLL), which would be renamed the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in 1998, and won their only championship in 1988 when they beat the Washington Wave, according to the league’s website. They would fall short of a repeat one year later when they lost to the Philadelphia Wings by a score of 11-10.

Unfortunately, the Saints would not return to the title game following their one-goal setback to Philadelphia in 1989 but did appear in the semifinals in 1990 and 1997. Their time with the league would conclude in 2003 after winning three of 16 contests.

So, the New York Saints were indeed a franchise — they were not a made-up team — but sadly, they won’t be competing against Cassidy’s squad tomorrow evening in Uniondale, New York.

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.”

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.

Blazers Coach Content After First Win

The Boston Blazers kicked off their 2011 season with an impressive 10-6 win against the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday January 8. Blazers captain Dan Dawson led the team with 8 assists, while teammate Casey Powell tallied 5 goals and goaltender Anthony Cosmo surrendered six goals, but saved 25 of the 31 shots on net.

On Wednesday January 12, 2011, Blazers head coach Matt Sawyer discussed through a league conference call that he was rather pleased with his teams outcome during their first game.

“We were relaxed, I was relaxed and calm (prior to the beginning of our first game). I guess (we all experienced) some anxiety and (were) just anxious to get the game started, but that’s no difference from any other coach. We felt calm and we were relaxed and just anxious to get going and happy with the result.”

The Blazers will have their home opener this Saturday January 15, 2011, when they welcome the Edmonton Rush to the T.D. Garden for a 7:30pm faceoff. For tickets and other information, make sure to visit the teams website at www.blazerslacrosse.com.