PLL: Championship rematch goes to Whipsnakes

Max Adler of Chaos LC faces off against Joe Nardella of Whipsnakes LC. June 5, 2021. (Photo: PLL)

The highly-anticipated championship game rematch between the Whipsnakes and Chaos went about the same as it did last season. The Whipsnakes took down Chaos 13-7 in a performance that can only be described as dominant for the victors.

From the start, the Whipsnakes dominated the game offensively as they opened the scoring only 23 seconds in thanks to a laser shot from John Haus. The Whips had scored two goals before Chaos got a single offensive position.

At the end of the first quarter, the Whipsnakes had scored five straight goals and a total of seven goals on 13 shots. The quarter featured scoring from five different Whips’ players, including two goals from reigning PLL MVP Zed Williams. The quarter ended 7-1 Whips, with Chris Cloutier scoring the lone goal for the Chaos.

The second quarter scoring opened faster than it did in the first when Joe Nardella won the faceoff and proceeded to bury the ball in the net just 16 seconds in. Whipsnakes’ Brad Smith scored two minutes later with a nasty turnaround shot to make it 9-1.

In the sixth minute of the second quarter, Chaos would get themselves in a bit of a pickle when they committed two penalties and gave the Whips a two-man advantage which they couldn’t convert on. In the 10th minute, Williams continued his dominant 2020 PLL campaign as he got his hat trick on a turnaround jump shot past Blaze Riorden. The half would end 10-1 in favor of Whipsnakes, with Chaos failing to record a goal in the quarter.

The bleeding continued for the Chaos in the third, with the Whips notching two goals in the first three minutes, including a lumbered 2-point goal from LSM Michael Ehrhardt to make it a 12-1 game. Although in the sixth minute, the Chaos would get back on the board thanks to a low Dhane Smith goal. Just a minute later, Williams would answer for the Whips for his fourth goal of the game. Chaos would start to find their rhythm in the final minutes of the period when Wes Berg scored to make it a 13-3 game.

The 4th quarter unfolded utterly differently than the first three did for Chaos. Smith would notch his second goal of the game thanks to some beautiful dangle-cradle work to get the ball past Kyle Bernlohr. Just two minutes later, Josh Byrne would score an incredible goal with no angle to the goal. In the final six minutes of the game, Berg would achieve two goals to complete his hat trick.

Chaos head coach Andy Towers had to be happy with his team’s performance in the fourth quarter as they scored four unanswered goals and a had couple of great defensive stops. The final quarter was dominant for Chaos as they controlled possession for much of it. Once Chaos finally got in a groove, they were able to control the game and get quality offensive possessions which is something they lacked for most of the game.

At the X, Nardella dominated against new Chaos acquisition Max Adler, which helped the Whipsnakes’ early dominance. In the first half, Nardella went 9 for 12 and recorded eight clamps which gave the Whipsnakes more possessions and put the Chaos defense on its heels. For the game as a whole, Nardella was 16/22 and 73% FO, which is a performance that has catapulted him back as an early favourite for the 2021 PLL MVP award.

Blaze Riorden was about as good as you could be in defeat, considering the defensive pressure that Chaos faced for a majority of the match. Riorden allowed 13 goals on 49 shots, recording 19 saves and a .610 SV%.