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Cannons To Defend MLL Championship This Weekend At Harvard Stadium

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The Boston Cannons huddle before their 10-9 victory over the Hamilton Nationals in the 2011 MLL Championship Game. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

The Boston Cannons huddle before their 10-9 victory over the Hamilton Nationals in the 2011 MLL Championship Game. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Cannons will be defending their Major League Lacrosse Championship this weekend, and will do so on their home field.

MLL Championship Weekend is being held at Harvard Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, with the Cannons starting their championship defense Saturday afternoon against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at 4pm.

This is a rematch of last year’s semifinals which was played at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland (the Bayhawk’s home field) as Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast. The Cannons defeated the Bayhawks 14-13 in a rainy affair on a last second buzzer-beater from Max Quinzani. Boston advanced to beat the Hamilton Nationals 10-9 to claim their first ever MLL Championship.

This year, the Cannons and Bayhawks split their two meetings with each team winning on their home field. Boston beat Chesepeake 16-13 in late July, their first of three straight victories to finish the season. Attacker Ryan Boyle led Boston with eight points in the contest (two goals and six assists) earning him player of the game honors.

This was a big contrast to the teams’ first meeting of the season, when Chesapeake held off a seven-point performance from Cannons midfielder Paul Rabil — MLL’s Offensive Player of the Year — for a 14-13 win. Bayhawks goalie Kip Turner turned in a 17-save performance in the game, earning him Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Prior to Saturday’s Cannons-Bayhawks matchup, the top-seeded Denver Outlaws will play the fourth-seeded Long Island Lizards at 1pm. The MLL Championship game will be Sunday afternoon at 3pm. Saturday’s Cannons-Bayhawks game can be seen on the CBS Sports Network, with Sunday’s championship game being broadcast on ESPN2.

While they finished with a 9-5 record and head into Championship weekend a three-seed, the Cannons dominated the league offensively throughout the season. They were atop all regular season scoring categories, with Rabil leading everyone with 72 points, Matt Poskay leading the league with 38 goals at 38, and Boyle turning in a career-high 39 assists. They outscored opponents this season 217-172

Read: Cannons Extend Waltham’s Steve Duffy

The Cannons find themselves in the postseason for the fourth straight season. Overall in postseason play, Boston is 3-10.

Tickets for both days are available on the Cannons website, or can be purchased at the Harvard Stadium box office the day of the games.

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