The Hamilton Nationals were edged 15-13 by the Boston Cannons tonight in a back-and-forth affair at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. Hamilton lost despite a career-high four goals and five points from Cody Jamieson.
Hamilton got big efforts from a quartet of offensive players. David Earl scored his second hat trick of the season, while Garrett Billings, Joe Walters and Stephen Keogh all chipped in three-point nights. The Nationals fell to 2-6 with the home loss.
The Cannons used five power-play goals to fight off repeated rallies from the Nationalsto 6-3. Ari Sussman led the way with a career performance with five goals and six points. Ryan Boyle, Kevin Buchanan and Paul Rabil all notched five-point nights. Jordan Burke stopped 18 shots in the win.
After trailing 7-6 at halftime, Boston outscored Hamilton 4-1 in the third to retake the lead at 11-8. Boston continued to click on the man-up as Boyle scored from Rabil at the 59-second mark to tie the game at seven. The Cannons were 4-for-4 with the man-advantage at that point. Sussman then completed the hat trick at the three-minute mark to give the Cannons an 8-7 lead. Hamilton’s Earl connected from long range to tie the contest at eight with 6:00 to go in the third. But Sussman and Rabil strung together goals to give Boston a 10-8 lead with just under two to go in the third.
The game moved to a high-scoring fourth quarter with each team netting five goals. Sussman extended his career night with his fifth goal at 1:02. Hamilton would not go away as Earl and Jamieson completed their hat tricks and the deficit was just one at 11-10. Boston moved ahead 12-10 on a low shot from Martin Cahill 8:12. Joe Resetarits answered with a diving goal off a feed from Billings at 9:05 and Hamilton was down 12-11. The teams continued to trade goals and Billings’ goal at 12:35 brought the Nationals to with 14-13. Poskay ruined Hamilton’s comeback bid, scoring at 13:23.
The contest was a battle from the very start as Brice Queener opened the game with his first of the season at 2:11. Chris Eck then tied the game off the ensuing faceoff just 13 seconds later. That sparked a 3-0 Boston run, but Hamilton responded with two straight to tie the game at three. A great pass from Keogh to Jamieson at 6:52 made it 3-2, as Jamieson beat Burke to the far side. Resetarits then tied the game at three with a bounce shot from the left wing at 9:26. Poskay scored his second of the night with a man-up tally to give the Cannons back the lead at 4-3.
In the second, Hamilton evened the game at four off a three-way passing play that started from Kevin Crowley. Billings took the pass at the left post and fed a wide-open Jamieson for his second of the game at 3:58. The Nats took their first lead of the game at 5:44 off a man-up goal by Keogh. Boston answered with two straight to take a 6-5 advantage. Hamilton again had an answer as Crowley scored off a split dodge at 11:59, which was followed up by a rocket from the right by Earl at 13:54 for a 7-6 Nationals’ lead.
The Nationals and Cannons honored former Team Canada goalie Chris Sanderson tonight before the game. The teams wore No. 17 T-shirts and helmet decals, and held a moment of silence in his honor. Chris’ brother Dustin performed the ceremonial faceoff with two No. 17s: Hamilton team captain Brodie Merrill and Boston captain Kyle Sweeney.
Saturdays game will air locally on Sunday, July 15th at 7:00 pm on Cable 14.
Hamilton will return to action with back-to-back games against the expansion Ohio Machine on Friday, July 13th and Saturday, July 14th. The Friday game marks the inaugural meeting between the two teams, and will start at 7:30 p.m. at McMaster University. The team will then travel to Columbus to battle the Machine at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.