Now that the Bolts appear to be a good bet to make the playoffs, it might be interesting to review the NLL playoff format, This season, the first and fourth place finishers play a best-of- seven semifinal series, as do the second and third place teams, with the home-floor advantage going to the first and second-place clubs. The winners will then meet in a best-of-seven final to determine the Nation’s Cup winner. Last year the Rochester Griffins, now the Long Island Tomahawks, defeated Philadelphia to win the first Cup.
Speaking of playoffs, the Bolts have a man who has proven that he can score under the pressure of playoff competition—Kevin Parsons. Last year with Rochester, Parsons finished second to Philadelphia’s John Grant in playoff scoring, totaling 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists) in 12 games. Two other. Bolts—Ric Bossley and Jerry McKenna— have seen NLL playoff action, Bossley with Montreal (2-8-10 in six games) and McKenna with Maryland (5-1-6 in five games).
Bolt recipients of the 99 Restaurant’s “Player of the Game” thus far have been: July 6—John Allen; July 13—Ivan Thompson; July 20 and 22—Ted Gernaey; July 27—Allen; July 31—Larry Bell; August 3-—Chuck Li. The award is given to the outstanding Boston player at each home game, as voted by the press.
Ivan Thompson leads Boston scorers against the Caribous with 16 goals and 20 assists in nine games. He trails Quebec’s Dave Durante, who has tallied 21 goals and 23 assists to lead all scorers. Bram Wilfong, whose three assists in Quebec last Wednesday brought him over the 100-point mark for the season, tops Bolt assist leaders with 21. The Bolts are 1-2-1 vs. the Caribous at the Garden this year, but have a 4-1 advantage at La Colisee to retain a 5-3-1 advantage in the season’s series.
Several Bolts are on the verge of breaking individual scoring milestones, or have already. Ivan Thompson scored his 100th assist in Quebec, and Wilfong went over the 100-point mark. Going into Saturday’s encounter at Maryland, Brian Thompson, Johnny Allen, and Kevin Parsons were within striking distance of 100. Brian needs two points, Allen three, and Parsons, who scored 45 points with Long Island before coming to Boston in June, is 29-65-94, six points shy of the Century Club.
The Bolts meet the Maryland Arrows Wednesday, August 20th at the Boston Garden. Game time 7:30 P.M.