Last week I made the relatively short trek down to Baltimore to catch the NALL’s Baltimore Bombers in their home opener against the Rhode Island Kingfish, and I have to say I enjoyed what I saw. The crowd was lively (I had NO idea former Penn State middie Colton Vosburgh rolled with that large a fan club), the skill level was legit, and the game was competitive throughout. Any debut is bound to have a few wrinkles that need ironing out, but overall I’d call it a definite success.
This Sunday the Bombers (2-0) welcome the Boston Rockhoppers (2-1) to the Du Burns Arena, and it promises to be a top notch game. These teams met two weeks ago in Boston, with the Bombers winning 17-16 via an Andrew Wasik power play goal (check out the game here) in OT. With both teams winning their games last week, the winner of this matchup secures first place in the league with at least a one game lead.
If Baltimore plans to remain undefeated, they’ll need to stay out of the penalty box, especially with Mike Simon (6 GB vs. Rhode Island last week) in Florida playing with the National Team this weekend. Last week the Bombers racked up 14 minutes worth of penalties, which isn’t going to work against a Rockhoppers offense that’s put up 16 goals in each of their past two games.
Since the Rockhoppers have already shown they can go toe to toe offensively with the Bombers, a Boston win could come down to controlling possessions, namely grabbing rebounds off of missed shots. So long as Tim Fallon keeps controlling face-offs and guys like Tommy Palasek can convert on their second chances, they’ll have a much better shot at wearing down the Bombers defense, and keeping their offense off the field.
Game time is Sunday at 3:00 pm (locals might want to get there early; the arena holds about 1,500 and there’s no football to compete with this weekend!). If you’re not going to be in the area, Access Lacrosse will be streaming the game at accesslacrosse.com. If you haven’t seen an NALL game yet, check it out and let us know what you think. I thought the league would be one of the big stories of the year, but when it comes down to it, your interest levels will help determine how much coverage the league needs, and gets.