Florida Launch Fall in OT to Boston Cannons

DELAND, Fla.–With an early goal from Chazz Woodson, the Launch set the tone for a competitive game with the Boston Cannons but ultimately falling 18-17 to the Boston Cannons in overtime.

The first quarter was a scoring battle between the Launch and the Cannons, with the second period serving as the major turning point for Florida who extended their lead with the help of a hat trick from Steve Pontrello.

With a three goal scoring run by the Launch, featuring goals from Steven Brooks, Will Gural, and Reagan Harding, the Launch continued a scoring run that would maintain their lead well into the fourth quarter. Gural's goal was his first career MLL goal, which was quickly followed up by his second later in the quarter.

While the Launch maintained upward of a two-point lead through two periods, the Cannons had three unanswered goals late in the fourth, tying the game with 2:47 left in the game. Greg Melaugh put the score up by one with 1:35 left in regulation. Boston ultimately tied up the game with less than a minute left with a goal from Will Manny that forced the game into overtime, where Kylor Bellistri scored the game winner for Boston.

QUOTES OF THE GAME

"There are some opportunities where we have to take better care of the ball and make a few smarter decisions. But, overall, I think we played well. Definitely still have something to build on, and we're in a good spot." - Chazz Woodson

PLAYERS OF NOTE

Steve Pontrello lead the Launch in goals (3).

Will Gural first MLL goals, both in the second period.

Connor Buczek tallied his first two-point goal of the season (last year's second leading two-point goal scorer).

OTHER NOTES

Attendance for today's game in DeLand, Florida was 1,827.

The Launch's next game will take place at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand, FL against the Rochester Rattlers. The Launch return to FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, FL on May 13.

Every game in this weekend's MLL schedule was decided by one goal.

* * * *

DeLand, Florida (April 23, 2017) – With just under one minute to go in regulation and down to the Florida Launch 17-16, Boston Cannons captain Will Manny fired a rocket past Launch goalie Austin Kaut, sending the game into overtime.

With the momentum shifted to the Cannons, it took their offense just 39 seconds to finish off the Launch in OT, when Kylor Bellistri beat Kaut on a pretty feed from Manny.

In the first quarter, there was plenty of scoring with each team scoring five first quarter goals. The second quarter was a different story with just three shots striking the mesh.

Following the slow second quarter, the second half provided scoring in bunches. There were 11 third quarter goals followed by nine tallies in the fourth quarter. The Cannons went on an offensive rampage, scoring four of the final five goals in the fourth quarter.

Throughout the afternoon, the Cannons got huge contributions from two unfamiliar faces, Scott Bieda and Bellistri. Bieda finished with three points and scored his first career goal. Bellistri, who saw some playing time with the team last season had a hat trick as well as an assist.

On the contrary, some familiar faces on the team; Manny, David Emala, Justin Turri and Joe Nardella, had strong season debuts.

Manny finished with five points, all of which came in the second half. Emala and Turri each had four points. Nardella's strong work at the faceoff-x continued as he won 20 of the 35 face-offs he lined up for.

For the Launch, Steve Pontrello and Connor Buczek both had four points. Buczek scored a huge two-point goal that seemed to be a dagger until the Cannons turned it on offensively.

A strong start to the season was emphasized in training camp and getting the first win in a battle-testing game provides great hope for the 2017 season. The Cannons stay away from home next week on the road against the Atlanta Blaze and hope to continue to improve on their 3-4 away record from last season.

2017-04-23



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