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Ryder Garnsey PLL Championship Series Day 5 Recap - MAKE PICKS | Video | MORE Redwoods 2020 PLL

PLL Championship Series Day 5 Recap – MAKE PICKS | Video | MORE

Editor’s Note: The Day 5 insight and recaps for the PLL Championship Series were co-authored by Ryan Conwell and Mark Donahue.

We had to stay up this late for a four goal first half? Overtime is usually the icing on top of an hard fought cake, but this was one we could have passed on the desert completely.

This was not the game the PLL will playing on repeat through the offseason. We will go ahead an write this one off as biological clocks not being geared to starting at 11 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. in Utah. There were a few stellar plays like overtime saves, Blaze Riorden in general, and the Garsey finish, but we can go ahead burn the rest of the film.

Luckily the two showdowns set for tomorrow later today should be a tad more thrilling despite the extra minutes needed to decide a winner.

PLL Championship Series Standings

















































Big Stats Guys

  • Blaze Riorden (Chaos) 23 saves, 77%
  • Thomas Kelly (Chaos) 12-of-17, 71%
  • Tim Troutner (Redwoods) 15 saves, 71%
  • Myles Jones (Redwoods) 1 goal, 2 assists
  • Mark Glicini (Chaos) 2 CT, 4 GB
  • Jack Rowlett (Chaos) 2 CT, 4 GB

Redwoods 8, Chaos 7 – OT

What a difference a year makes. Last season, this was one of the marquee matchups. The Chaos were a 2-pt slinging highlight machine who were fun for fans on the field and all over social media. The Redwoods were great at every single position and just played great lacrosse, which is what sent them to the title game.

But this? This was not pretty.

What will go down as the lowest scoring game in history, despite also being the first overtime game in the PLL Championship Series. And while you could chalk this up to two defensive juggernauts battling it out on the field, that sadly was not it.

But, the brightest spot of the nights was definitely the goalie play. Chaos head coach Andy Towers said at halftime how he just wanted his team to be taking smarter shots, and that was something everyone could agree with. Both teams were not taking high percentage shots, and the goalies were gobbling it all up. Even though the shot totals were high, which led to some gaudy save numbers, especially by Riorden (23 saves), that should not take away from some spectacular saved by both keepers.

In overtime, Troutner may have actually had the play of the game. Myles Jones fumbled a pass, and it turned into a Chaos fast break the other way. Curtis Dickson curled inside, caught a pass and had more time and room than an unmasked shopper in a grocery store for a 1:1 look with Troutner.

Big save Troutner!

The clear went the other way before Myles Jones fed Ryder Garnsey via a skip pass, who then made a move on the crease and scored the game winner to the far side net. Impossible to fault Riorden for that doorstep goal.

Where the frustration in this game came was from the offense, and it was on both teams. Granted, Chaos showed more glimmers of hope that the Redwoods by having a few more nice looking picks to clear up a shooter, but this game was largely iso ball. No quick ball movement, no working off ball to get open inside. It really came down to someone deciding to dodge and when the individual defense held up, take an underhand shot from wherever you were.

Was this every play? Absolutely not.

It was a common enough theme happening throughout the game that just resulted in change of possession after change of possession. When combined with passes sailing out of bounds, forced passes into double teams, and passing to defenders, it made for a long night. One of the most telling plays for me was seeing Ryder Garnsey setup a cat-and-mouse at X, with both Riorden and his defender looking back. The camera was panned out just enough that you could see the high crease and there was zero motion happening. Nobody was cutting down the alleys or doing a pick and re-pick on the inside. It was just a lot of standing. Now, Garnsey is the type of player than make a play on the crease in these situations, but to not even try to get the step down shot open? That needs to improve.

Both of these teams are better than what we saw in this game. I had a coach recently tell me that each team usually gets one game to just look past. It was just a bad game and not an indication of who they are over the season. For both of these teams’ sakes, I really hope this was that game. This Championship Series is too short to allow time to find yourself over a season. And if this is the identity they are forming, they will not be having much fun next week.

Thursday’s Games

After a fairly lackluster Wednesday night, our hopes are high for some high scoring affairs on Thursday.

It’s hard to believe that the Whipsnakes haven’t even played a game since their opener on Saturday. This is their chance to get things rolling. While they are anxious to play, their opponent Atlas is coming off an early week double-header before getting two rest days of their own. For Atlas’ sake, they hopefully have found a way to work Tucker Durkin into the lineup and rework some things offensively to give the Whips everything they can handle. Bryan Costabile has been a revelation, but the Atlas are serious volume shooters right now, and are not connecting enough. That is not a great formula heading into a game with one of the best defenses and goalies in the league. They are going to really need to work to create some better opportunities and higher percentage shots in the middle of the field. One of the most exciting matchups in the game is actually in the face-off.

The most exciting match-up when comparing Whipsnakes and Atlas will be the battle at the X between Joe Nardella and Trevor Baptiste. Whoever can pull above .500 could be deciding factor in a matchup with so much world-class talent on both offense ends. Atlas are experiencing some success through young talent, but their proven vets are still spinning tires. With as many shots as Rabil and Pannell are launching, more possession mean that some of those rips are going to fall.

In the nightcap, we have our first online-only game of the series, putting the surprising Chrome against the Archers on NBC Gold. While the Archers are exciting to watch, they haven’t completely dominated a game offensively yet. This game presents a great opportunity to.

The Chrome defense is completely rebuilt, but they are coming together at a shockingly fast pace, catapulting them to the top spot in the league. The Chrome offense is also scoring in bunches, which allows their defense to be slightly more aggressive. While they may not be packed with players you think of when naming transition threats, they all are. Both teams prefer a more controlled style, but are not going to shy away from a transition opportunity. The subbing game will have to be on point, and mistakes have to be minimal. This should be one of the best matchups in the series.

Chrome did everything they could to let the Redwoods back in the game the other night and almost blew it. Redwoods didn’t deserve to win, but it doesn’t feel like Chrome should be 2-0. Archers are red hot across the field and the flip to start Ghitelman and let Adams close in the crease brought a spark of new life to the Archers. The offense looks awesome with the addition of Ament and as soon as Holman and Manny start putting together the evenings they should be having, the Archers could move to the untouchable tier.

Things are working in the Chrome camp and they’re having a lot fo fun doing it. They let their gauerd down in Tuesday and almost blew the largest lead of the PLL season. There’s no way Galloway is not coming out for blood after allowing two late two-bombs in the breakdown. This one might keep us all a little more on the edges of our seats than they earlier pairing.

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