Saturday was a rough day for Major League Lacrosse, less so for the Boston Cannons.
Just before 11 am on Saturday Major League Lacrosse announced that the Boston Cannons matchup with the Denver Outlaws would be delayed until 4 pm and the Chesapeake Bayhawks v Connecticut Hammerheads would be delayed until 7 pm. Roughly an hour later the league announced that a player on Friday night had tested positive for COVID-19 and that all players, coaches, and staff had been tested with results pending. After four hours of no information, the league announced that the semifinals would be canceled and the Boston Cannons alongside the Denver Outlaws would play in the 2020 MLL Championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
Following the COVID-19 tests the league conducted the results forced the league to decide to make cancelling the semifinals a necessity.
“The most important priority is the health and wellness of our players,” said Commissioner Alexander (Sandy) Brown. “We have been prepared, thorough and measured in our response and have followed league protocol. It is thanks to our medical and COVID teams that we have had a rapid and exhaustive response. We look forward to taking the field tomorrow and rounding out our 20th anniversary season.”
According to reports, three players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Boston and Denver which had played each other on Friday night in Maryland were scheduled to play each other in the semifinals. With Denver the Boston being the only two teams remaining they are the defacto Championship options for MLL.
Denver finished first in the 2020 MLL regular season with a 4-1 record and the Cannons who finished 3-2 were technically in a three-way record tie for second place. You could argue the Cannons were the second-best team in MLL and that this championship could very well be the top two teams in MLL. However, the reigning champs Chesapeake Bayhawks or the winners of three-straight Connecticut Hammerheads may have some disagreement on that point, and rightfully so.
Either way, the Boston Cannons will be thrust into the national spotlight with a game on ESPN and with it the chance to grow the brand due to the national television audience that comes with it.