PLL Championship Series Day 4 Recaps – MAKE PICKS | Video | MORE

Editor’s Note: The Day 4 insight and recaps for the PLL Championship Series were co-authored by Ryder Cochrane and Mark Donahue.

Everyone has now played twice in the PLL Championship Series except Chaos, having to postpone their date with Redwoods for very late tomorrow night. In the meantime, the Redwoods got to go after the Chrome today and it almost went well for them. Archers and Waterdogs put on a good show and was a great start to the night.

If you turned off the Chrome versus Redwoods game early, who could blame you? If you have NBC Gold, go back and watch the Redwoods comeback. Frankly, they should have won the game with how bad it seemed the Chrome wanted to give it away.

Chippiness, hot streaks, more rookie heat. What a beautiful Tuesday.

PLL Championship Series Standings

Team

W

L

PF

PA

Chrome

2

0

25

20

Archers

2

0

20

17

Whipsnakes

1

0

13

9

Atlas

1

1

21

21

Chaos

0

2

9

13

Waterdogs

0

2

17

20

Redwoods

0

2

20

25

Big Stats Guys

  • Grant Ament (Archers) 1G, 3A
  • Adam Ghitelman (Archers) 10 saves, 91%
  • BJ Grill (Waterdogs) 5GB, 3CT
  • Steve DeNapoli (Waterdogs) 5GB, 2CT
  • Ned Crotty (Chrome) 2G, 2A
  • Reece Eddy (Chrome) 3GB, 2CT
  • Sergio Perkovic (Redwoods) 2 2G, 1 G
  • John Sexton (Redwoods) 4 GB, 3 CT

Archers 9, Waterdogs 7

When Coach Copelan talked about the Waterdogs game plan before the start, he was very clear that too much attention couldn’t go to the hot handed rookie Grant Ament. The defense would have to play him straight-up when attacking the cage. The kid proved he doesn’t have to be in front of the goal to be dangerous. Knowing he was a marked man as a scorer, Ament turned to set up man in round two. At X, Ament because a surgeon this evening, calm, cool, ready to thread the needle.

Despite his highlight reel debut, Ament’s biggest play yet may have been a behind-the-back laser feed from behind the goal to Tom Scheiber on a blazing fast back door cut. The pass was pinpoint accurate and at an incredible speed.

Commentator Ryan Boyle went on air with Ament after the goal and asked the Penn State product what Scheiber was likely to say to him if he didn’t make the pass on such a hard worked and open cut. Ament laughed the comment off saying, “Probably nothing. Tom’s a good guy.” Scheiber, when asked a similar question on the sideline, responded with full confidence that Ament would find him on that cut because, “that’s what he does best.”

PLL Championship Series 2020 Archers Waterdogs Photo

Photo: Premier Lacrosse League

Scheiber was good for another tally after the help from Ament and Christian Mazzone was the other Archer to strike twice. 14 points were distributed across eight players across the roster, showing the team efforts are turning into wins.

Archers went with a goaltending flip, starting Drew Adams ahead of Adam Ghitelman in the first half, when Ghitleman usually closes the game. Adams didn’t get the start he wanted, allowing six different shooters to find the net in the first half. For the most part, the Waterdogs offense was getting activated through the first 30 minutes. Ben Reeves is the only component they’re still waiting to fall into play. The game was far from over, but their 6-3 lead at halftime and defensive stands were bringing a lot of momentum into the break.

PLL Championship Series 2020 Archers Waterdogs Photo

Photo: Premier Lacrosse League

Not a single shot fell for the Waterdogs in the third quarter and a single effort from Ben McIntosh would be it for the final frame. Like their debut, they had a substantial lead and absolutely went to sleep in the second half.

While the flawed Waterdogs offense was exposed again, nothing should take away from the world-class effort of Ghitelman that turned a 7 save, 58 percent opener against Atlas into a 10 save, 91 percent complete shutdown of the Waterdogs. If the Archers go back to Ghitelman for the start against Chrome on Thursday night and he does that again, they made need to hold off on Adams to keep him red hot. That runs the risk of fatigue over the long run, but nothing should slow down a streaking goalie with a head of confidence.

One game at a time.

Chrome 12, Redwoods 11

If we learned three things in tonight’s game, here they are:

1) People definitely listened to Matt Gaudet this weekend.

2) Chrome is a lot better than last year.

3) Redwoods really miss their non-injured absences.

Redwoods took an early 2-1 lead in a very sloppy first quarter, where there were more unforced turnovers than goals by a country mile. Redwoods got some early hype after a classic Kyle Harrison goal. That man ages like a fine wine, and he burned rookie Sam Duggan to put the Redwoods up early. The Chrome offense, which had looked wonderful in their second half against Chaos, looked stagnant, and the Redwoods defense was doing a great job of denying them good shot opportunities.

Then the second quarter came. Chrome exploded, going on a 9-2 run through the second frame as they pulled away for a big halftime lead. The catalyst of Chrome’s big run was just a ton of man-up (excuse me, power play) opportunities courtesy of a chippy, cheap-shotting stretch from the Redwoods.

Gaudet, not mic’d up today in what seems to have been a coach’s decision, was clearly back up in the heads of his opponents. Early into the second quarter, Garrett Epple knocked him to the ground and, while he was down, unleashed a flurry of crosschecks to Gaudet’s helmet, causing a scuffle to break out amongst the players on the field. Somehow, for reasons I cannot explain and hope the PLL will address soon, Epple was not ejected.

I’m going to go ahead and stop any people in the mentions: talking smack doesn’t give you the right to try to give a defenseless man brain damage.

The ensuing two-minute penalty kicked off Chrome’s run. Over the course of the game, Chrome converted on 3-of-4 power play opportunities.

Redwoods “won” the second half 7-2, but, by then, it was too late. A pair of late two-bombs by Sergio Perkovic made the game interesting in the waning moments, and Redwoods got one more shot near the end to try and tie things up. Despite the scoreline, however, Chrome goalie John Galloway had a hell of a game, finishing with a 61 percent save rate and bailing Chrome out multiple times on the doorstep. Without his second-half heroics, this easily could have been a Chrome collapse, but the former Syracuse star refused to lose. After the game, Galloway showed disappointment in his allowance of the scores from beyond the arc and the near collapse down the stretch.

Jesse King’s goal out of the sub box in the late fourth quarter proved to be the difference. King was one of four Chrome players to score multiple goals, joining Ned Crotty, Justin Guterding, and Jordan Wolf, in what was a strong night for the Chrome starting attack line. A full health King is a wrecking ball to deal with.

For Chrome, this brings them to a surprising 2-0, and sets them up for a battle of undefeateds on Thursday night against Archers. A team that lacked much of an identity last year, Chrome has become a scrappy, fiery squad this year, and is clearly just having more fun out there than they did last season. Face-off specialist Connor Farrell, 14-of-22, continues to be a pleasant surprise for Tim Soudan’s squad, and Galloway has bounced back quite nicely so far this year after a rough (by his standards) 2019.

For Redwoods, meanwhile, this is not the start that anyone would have expected, as they drop to 0-2 and last place in the PLL, behind Waterdogs on goal-differential. Generally speaking, they had a good game overall tonight, outscoring Chrome in the first, third, and fourth quarters, which really only makes their second-quarter all the more frustrating. To put it plainly, Redwoods lost their collective cool in the second quarter and, by the time they bounced back in the fourth, it was too little, too late. They have yet to find a successful replacement for Greg Gurenlian, winning a mere 39.5 percent of their face-offs tonight. The most surprising issue for Redwoods so far is a suddenly anemic attack. Their starting attack line combined for three goals tonight, as Ryder Garnsey shot 2-of-7 and Matt Kavanagh went 1-of-6. Garnsey personally had four turnovers, giving him a net negative. Clarke Petterson did have three assists, which helps some, but this team is clearly missing both the production and the sheer impact of Jules Heningburg, who had to miss the PLL Championship Series after his COVID-19 case put him at risk of cardiac arrest.

Redwoods don’t even have to wait a full twenty-four hours before getting another crack at things. Their reschedule game with Chaos comes tomorrow and it’s juicy because both teams will be looking for their first win. That, plus the added drama of the Jones-Salcido trade in the offseason, could make for a chippy game.

Here’s hoping that the Redwoods can keep their cool this go-round.

Wednesday’s Game

Thunder and lightning got the best of the first attempt on Monday night. The PLL Championship Series made the decision the move the game to Wednesday, the pre-planned off-day, for a late start, 11 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. in Utah. This, again, is a battle of the beatens. Both the Redwoods and Chaos came into the Championship Series with high expectations, but have only experienced loss.

Each team also has struggled with face-offs, so it will be interesting to see which unit turns the corner faster.

PickUp Props of the Day











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