Thursday night Redwoods LC faced off against Whipsnakes LC in the second semi-final game of the night for the right to face Chaos LC for the PLL Championship.
On this night, it would be the first-seed Whipsnakes once again coming out on top in overtime 13-12, to return to the PLL Championship to defend their title.
This was another classic battle between these two squads. Back on July 25th, these teams opened group play with the Whipsnakes coming out on top 13-9, and who could forget last year’s championship game that ended with a 12-11 OT victory for the Whipsnakes?
The Whipsnakes would come out on fire, as Jay Carlson would find rope early from his knees, then Mike Chanenchuk would get his first of two on the night as he stepped just inside the 2-point arc. Brendan Gleason would finally get the Redwoods on the board with a left alley dodge to beat Kyle Bernlohr.
The Whipsnakes would brush that off, as they would score nine times in the first half. None of the goals came from the team’s leading scorers Zed Williams and Matt Rambo. Instead, they were from Brad Smith, Max Tuttle and Michael Ehrhardt from beyond the 2-pt arc.
The star on this night would be Jay Carlson. After his first goal, he would receive a rocket of a pass from Brad Smith and put it in the back of the net in one fluid motion. It was so quick the announcers at first thought it was a 2-point goal.
All season the Redwoods had a never say die attitude, and it really showed midway through the second quarter as Patrick Harbeson, Matt Kavanagh, Clarke Petterson and Sergio Perkovic scored in succession to bring the Redwoods within two at 8-6.
Jay Carlson would stop the Redwoods four-goal run with his fourth of the night off a feed from Michael Smith right in front to give the Whipsnakes a three-goal lead at the half 9-6. In the first half the Whipsnakes Zed Williams had zero goals, the same number of shots for Matt Rambo.
Brent Adams and Matt Kavanagh (man-up) would score in the first 59 seconds of the third quarter to reduce the Whipsnakes lead to 9-8. Mike Chanenchuk would score on the man-up to give the Whipsnakes back a two-goal lead.
The Redwoods Matt Kavanagh wouldn’t let that last long as he would strike twice collecting his third and fourth goals of the game. After trailing 8-2 in the second quarter, the Redwoods defense would be very stingy, limiting chances for the Whipsnakes on offense as they would turn the tables on the Whipsnakes by outscoring them 8-2 to tie the game at 10.
Michael Ehrhardt would collect his second 2-point goal of the night for the Whipsnakes, but Ryder Garnsey would roll from behind the net for the Redwoods to cut the lead to just a goal as the third quarter would come to an end.
After killing off Garnsey’s 1-minute slashing penalty, Redwoods would get the man-up advantage and Myles Jones would get a great look and shot from 2-point range, but goalie Kyle Bernlohr would come up with a big save to keep his Whipsnakes in front.
Off the restart, Garnsey would roll dodge from behind the net to beat Bernlohr far side to tie the game 12-12 with just under three minutes remaining.
With 1:22 left Brendan Gleason had a terrific opportunity but hit the post as the Whipsnakes would get the ground ball and have their own chance, but Tim Troutner would come up big. The Redwoods would get a couple of opportunities in the final 30 seconds but couldn’t find the back of the net.
After Joe Nardella would win the opening faceoff of overtime, both teams would have their chances. But it would be the Whipsnakes Jeremy Sieverts on their third possession firing a shot that would bounce high far side to push the Whipsnakes into the title game with a 13-12 victory.
Matt Kavanagh (4G/1A) and Ryder Garnsey (2G/2A) led the Redwoods. The Whipsnakes were led by Jay Carlson (4G), Brad Smith (1G/5A), Mike Chanenchuk (2G) and Michael Ehrhardt, who had five points, with a pair of 2-pt goals and an assist.
The Whipsnakes will face Chaos on Sunday for the PLL Championship at 12:30 p.m. on NBC. These teams faced each other back on July 31st with Whipsnakes coming out on top 12-7.