The Charlotte Hounds try to build on their win streak against the Boston Cannons this week in MLL.

The Boston Cannons travel to Charlotte for a Saturday matchup with the Hounds at American Legion Memorial Stadium. The game will mark the first with new coach John Tucker as Steve Duffy was relieved of his duties mid-week for a team struggling early in the season. Boston (1-5) is off to one of the worst starts in franchise history, and the team felt like it needed a change in leadership, hence the departure of Duffy, who had amassed a 10-10 record for the team since being hired. They now face a Charlotte team that is gaining confidence after winning 2 games in a row. The Hounds (3-3) are entering the 2nd game of a 3-game home stand, and have looked like a playoff caliber team the past two weeks in victories against New York and Ohio. If they can manage to beat this Cannons team, it will mark the 1st time in franchise history that the team will have eclipsed the .500 mark. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 EST.

Players to Watch

Boston Cannons

Chris Eck – The faceoff X is a place where Charlotte can be exploited, and Eck has been playing extremely well lately. An effort similar to the 20 for 32 (62.5%) performance he had against Rochester (not to mention the 2 goals) will go a long way to keeping the Charlotte attack off the field.

Will Manny – Manny stepped up and scored 2 goals last week and has a chance to emerge as a valuable contributor for the Cannons. They need to find a consistent threat to pair with Rabil and Poskay, and Manny will have every opportunity to be that type of player for them.

Charlotte Hounds

Ryan Flanagan/Brett Schmidt – The pair of defenders were all over Steele Stanwick and Marcus Holman last weekend, combining for 10 ground balls in an effort that kept the Machine under 8 goals. They will have a tall order this week with Rabil and Poskay, but this is a unit that has been better than people think and has the chance to make a real impact this week.

Eric Lusby – Lusby has been on fire the past 3 games, scoring 10 goals total in them, including the 5-goal explosion from a week ago. Lusby, Danowski, and Young form a formidable attack that can score on anyone.

Keys to the Game

Boston Cannons – Motivated or Not?

When there is a coaching change mid-season in professional sports, the team obviously has some problems that need to be fixed. Boston is no different from this cliché. The key for them will be whether they can pull it all together on the road and show that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the MLL. If they are hanging their heads and are not ready for the game for any reason, it could spell trouble. Charlotte could take advantage and really score some goals if Boston isn’t careful.

Charlotte Hounds – Good Start

While Charlotte has won the past two games, they have gotten off to slow starts in both of them. If they do not start this game on a positive note, it will give Boston the chance to regain the confidence that this team has lost so far this season. It is easy to look at the Cannons’ record and assume a win is coming, but there is no easy game in this league and coming out of the opening faceoff and putting pressure on Boston is a good start to getting the win against the Cannons.

Prediction

Charlotte has an attack that is one of the best in the league. Boston allowed 16 goals to a Rochester team that has averaged over 2 goals fewer than Charlotte per game. I just don’t see Boston being able to go into Memorial Stadium with a new coach and pull off the win with the way they have been playing. Charlotte 15, Boston 11.