PLL: Chaos get their first win and Waterdogs pull off the upset 

Whipsnakes vs. Waterdogs, PLL semi-finals (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown

PLL action came to you live from TCO Stadium in Eagan, Minnesota this weekend. Week 5 action on Saturday night did not disappoint.

The first game on the Saturday slate was between Chaos and Cannons. Chaos got their first win of the year 13-11 and looked a lot like the championship club from last year.

Chaos came out in the first quarter red hot. Kyle Jackson opened the scoring, but was answered by Ryan Drenner. The Chaos then went on a 4-0 run in a span of 2:41. Two from Josh Byrne, and one each from Chris Cloutier and Jerry Ragonese. The highlight of that run was Ragonese’s goal. The 35-year-old journeyman won the faceoff, came down and went full superman and scored. He was interviewed as he was being taped up and said “sometimes the bumper falls off on a racecar, a little spit and glue and you get right back out there, right back on the racetrack.”

The Cannons cut the deficit with a five-spot of their own in the second quarter from Drenner, Asher Nolting, Bubba Fairman, Adam Charalambides and the great Lyle Thompson. Chaos had three of their own. Chase Fraser, Cloutier and Jackson scored to make it 8-6 Chaos going into the half.

The Cannons kept chipping away as they won the third quarter 4-3. Charalambides got his second, Thompson got his second and third, and Drenner got his hatty as well. Chaos did just enough to keep the lead. Jack Rowlett got his first, Jackson got his hat trick and CJ Costabile got his first.

Hold your breath Chaos fans. The Cannons tied the game up early in the fourth with Drenner’s fourth. One thing that the Chaos have been criticized for this year is their lacklustre defense. Well, they put a stop to that rumbling here in the fourth quarter. Drenner’s goal was the last that the Cannons would score in this one. Byrne got his hat trick and Dhane Smith got his first to secure the Chaos’ first win of the year, 13-11 over the Cannons. Smith’s goal was set-up by a disgusting behind-the-back pass from Ryan Smith.

Leading scorers for Chaos were Byrne (3+1) and Jackson (3 goals). Blaze Riorden recorded 20 saves and a 65% save percentage. As for the Cannons, it was Drenner with four goals and Thompson with three. Nick Marrocco recorded only 10 saves, with a 43% save percentage.

“It took 19 guys and our coaching staff and a bunch of belief,” said Riorden after the game. “We’re battle tested and we’ve been on the wrong end of the stick, guys step up and we come out with a win.”

The Chaos are now 1-4 on the year going into the all-star break. The Cannons also drop to 1-4.


Saturday’s second game between Whipsnakes and Waterdogs was action packed. The Whipsnakes attempted to continue their unbeaten streak and the Waterdogs tried to notch their second win and avenge a week two loss to the Whips. One of the big stories in this one would be the goaltenders. League leader Kyle Bernlohr faced off against reigning NLL champion Dillon Ward. This should be fun.

Avenging that loss is exactly what the Waterdogs did, beating the Whipsnakes 11-10. The Waterdogs didn’t waste any time tickling twine, as Zach Currier scored a twister goal just 26 seconds in. Truth be told, the first quarter was all ‘Dogs. Michael Sowers continued his hot streak with a goal of his own, and was followed up by another by Ryan Conrad. 3-0 Waterdogs after one.

The second saw “every other” type scoring. Matt Rambo notched the first of the night for the Whipsnakes and finally got them on the board. Rambo’s goal was at the 4:26 mark of the frame. The Waterdogs answered right back with a goal from Ethan Walker. Seven seconds later, Connor Kirst got his first for the Whips. Sowers got his second, and Brad Smith got his first, to make it 5-3 Waterdogs going into halftime, so the good majority of the second was a defensive and transition battle.

Waterdogs head coach Andy Copelan spoke at half about his team’s lead and performance.

“It’s funny, I don’t think we played particularly well in the first quarter and we had a 3-0 lead. I thought we played a little better in the second, we just didn’t shoot the ball particularly well,” he remarked.

Copelan also commented on having goaltender Dillon Ward back with the team.

“Glad to have him back. He’s special, just his personality and his presence in the locker room and his leadership. We certainly missed him.”

The Whipsnakes are unbeaten this year and trailed every game at halftime. What better of a way to open the third quarter, then, with a two-point bomb from Brad Smith. Zed Williams and Mike Chanenchuk followed that up with goals of their own. Conrad and Currier each got their second of the night, and Keegan Khan scored for the Whips, to make it 8-7 Whipsnakes going into the fourth.

The Waterdogs opened the fourth with a 3-0 run of their own. McArdle got two and Sowers got his hat trick, which gave the Dogs a 10-8 lead, but we all know the Whips just won’t go away. Chanenchuk got his second and Jackson Reid scored to tie the game up at 10. McArdle then took advantage of an injured Whipsnakes player, by firing a quick shot and scoring the game winner with 1:25 left in the final frame. That’s how the game would finish, Waterdogs hand the Whips their first loss, 11-10.

Top scorers for the Waterdogs were McArdle and Sowers, each with three goals. Dillon Ward made 12 saves with a 67% save percentage before his exit late in the third quarter. Matt DeLuca came in and closed the door from there on out. As for the Whipsnakes, Smith had three points and Chanenchuk had two goals. Bernlohr made 13 saves with a 54% save percentage.

Kieran McArdle was asked after the game how did the dogs get let out?

“We just battled, we scrapped,” he said. “That’s just how we play right there, that’s a big one to win at the end of the game. We lost the other one in overtime, so that’s huge.”

McArdle also commended coach Copelan about being a great presence and a calming one, too.

This win bumps the Waterdogs to 2-3 on the year going into the break. The Whipsnakes suffered their first loss, but are still towards the top of the standings at 4-1.

We’ve officially hit the all-star break, which means some much needed time off for the players and coaches. The all-star game is July 16th at 4 p.m. from Foxborough, MA and the skills competition is at 7 p.m. that same night. The first half of the season was action packed, we can only assume the second half will be more of the same.