The second game of Day 1 at the Onondaga Arena was Ireland vs Germany. The first faceoff went to Germany, but both teams quickly got into form and started to hit hard off-ball. Below is an in-depth recap of the match-up + highlights from there game!
A quick shot appeared to be the first Germany goal, only to be called off due to crease violation. Ireland looked sharp with quick ball movement and a shifty dodge for a goal put them up 1-0 in the first 45 seconds of the game. The lead off goal coming from none other than NLL veteran and leader Stephen Keogh, assisted by Brian Gillis. Second faceoff draw was an easy win for Ireland. Things started getting physical all over the field, intensity was running high. Ireland played a very physical defense to thwart the bull dodges from the German lineup. Both teams were quick and executed transitions well. Another hard drive to the cage by Germany and the ball hit the twine, called off by yet another crease violation. Ireland’s Ben Snider received a holding penalty, creating a German power play but they failed to convert on their first possession. Ireland got a few looks but German goalie Tyler Glebe made big saves time after time.
Germany pulled the goalie to take advantage of an interference call on Gillis. A minute into the power play a media timeout gave the teams a chance to game plan but in returning Germany failed to convert. However, Germany got another chance less than a minute later when Ireland’s Tyler Roche, frustrated with the heavy off-ball contact, took an unnecessary swipe at a German player, landing a 2 minute illegal body check penalty. Germany took advantage of the power play and Jamie Plunkett sunk his first goal of the game assisted by Wolfgang Grießl, tying the game 1-1.
Passion ran high, the teams were broken up at the 2.5 minute mark after a nice Irish power play goal by Keogh putting the Irish in the lead by 1, score 2-1. Ireland wins the next draw. The referees had to work hard to keep this game clean as the off-ball contact furthered toward excessive.
Ireland’s Roche received another two minute penalty for a hold. A great screened goal with 1.1 seconds left in the quarter, Germany’s Plunkett with his second tying the game at 2-2.
Ireland pulled ahead 3-2 within the first min of the 2nd quarter with a great rebound goal by Roche assisted by Kevin Owens. They came out hard up and down the field and aggressive rides gave Germany trouble. Germany’s Henning Ratjen with a 5 minute high sticking penalty ratcheted the intensity even higher and a German player went down briefly with injury. The tone of the game continued to run hot and a tough double team turned into a 2min holding call on Ireland’s Micahel Bradshaw, all even for 2 minutes.
Germany drove hard to the crease and a third German goal got waived off due to a crease violation, the team’s frustration with officials was quite obvious. Seven minutes into the second quarter the score remained 3-2. Michael Shea gets Ireland’s 4th holding penalty of the game giving Germany the advantage and played 4 vs 3 with just under 6 minutes left in the quarter. The Irish played hard physical defense and many successful double teams gave their offense a chance to do their job. With 4 minutes left in the half Irish’s Keogh found Gillis for a quick shot, pulling ahead 4-2. The German offense started to play smart heads up lacrosse but couldn’t find the finish and Ireland droped another when Andrew McBride, another team leader and NLL veteran, found opportunity with Drew Wichmann, 5-2 Ireland.
Germany called a timeout with 16.2 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. They came out to a very physical Ireland defense and failed to convert when they mishandled the ball.
A scrappy faceoff started the third period and an Irish violation gave Germany possession. Ireland had been playing very physical defense and regained possession 1 minute into the third and converted 6-2 when Gillis found Keogh. A patient Ireland offense with quick ball movement created a smooth backside cut by Gillis found by Daniel Kelly, Ireland pulled away 7-2.
Germany did little to help their situation after another messy faceoff. Not only did Ireland come up with it, they found themselves in a 2 minute power play situation after Germany’s Don Jacks received a crosschecking foul. Despite being shorthanded Germany’s Plunkett found Brendan Shea and pulled the game within 4, score 7-3 Ireland. Ireland was sent to the box for delaying the game and the penalty expired without a point scored.
With just under 5 minutes left in the quarter Germany’s Maximilian Bieber was sent to the box with a slashing foul and a media timeout paused the game. A quick Irish possession followed the timeout and a fast assisted power play goal came shortly after. Owens was found open by Keogh and they brought the Ireland lead to 5, score 8-3.
Not to be out penalized, Ryan Doran committed a cross checking foul, giving Germany an advantage which they successfully converted when Broz Philip fed Marc Brandenburg with a solid finish and scoring Germany’s 4th goal, 8-4 Ireland. Before the quarter expired Bradshaw got physical and landed a 5 minute high sticking foul with less than a minute in the quarter.
Germany worked hard for the first possession of the 4th quarter looking to take advantage of the remaining 4 power play minutes. But, Ben Snider had other plans and scored an unassisted goal increasing the Irish lead 9-4. The intense physicality of the game generated a roughing penalty from Bieber making the game even for the next two minutes.
An already frustrated German team scored only to have it recalled due to a crease violation. That was their fourth no goal due to crease violations. Ireland gets a quick transition and McBride found Roche for another goal, bringing the score to 10-4 with 10 minutes left in the game. At this point the mentality of the teams changed slightly, while the style of the game remained very physical, the chippy edge dissolved. The German work ethic and perseverance became apparent and Germany’s Artjom Meriasch was able to snag another one, 10-5 Ireland with under 9 minutes to play.
Germany started working very hard on the face-offs and won the subsequent two back to back while Ireland’s frustrated Sean Gibson gets called for checking from behind. Building on the momentum and capitalizing on the power play, Plunkett sunk a great shot from high slot, score 10-6. With 5 minutes left in the game, the Irish defense rallied and became very physical and very vocal. The rowdy crowd fed off the energy and started getting in on the action.
Uncontrolled aggression puts you in the box and Roche went in with 2.5min left for both holding and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. For over a minute Ireland successfully stalled but with 75 seconds remaining Germany’s Plunkett couldn’t help but drop another for his fourth of the game. Ireland called a timeout with 30 seconds remaining and began a stall.
True to the intensity of the game, a scuffle broke out with 5 seconds left and Germany’s Thilo Siegel was sent to serve his crosschecking penalty. An exciting conclusion to a hard fought game and Ireland finished on top 10-7.