Whipsnakes 15 vs Cannons 14 OT
Riding a nine-game win streak, Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club was pushed into overtime by Paul Rabil’s Cannons LC on an 80-degree afternoon in Atlanta at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in the second week of PLL action. After a quick flurry of back and forth action, Whipsnakes midfielder John Haus ended the game with a low bouncer clinching a 15-14 OT win.
“I thought I had a really good matchup with an offensive midfielder on me. There was a flag down and I took a chance and I shot a good enough shot. It felt like [Cannons’ goaltender Nick Marrocco] was struggling down low a bit so tried to put it down there and luckily it went in,” Haus said post-game.
The Cannons gave the Whipsnakes everything they could handle. Trailing 8-4 at the half, Paul Rabil and Lyle Thompson ignited the Bomb Squad attack. It was vintage Rabil orchestrating the offense with penetrating attacks and timely feeds while Thompson scored three times to get the Cannons within two and set up a highly entertaining fourth.
MVP Zed Williams went off for three goals giving him six on the day for Whipsnakes. However, it was a two-pointer by Deemer Class and then a game-tying goal by Andrew Kew with 47 seconds left that propelled the game into overtime. It genuinely felt like the Cannons had momentum and perhaps even fate on their side, especially after a monster save from Nick Marrocco off a Zed Williams shot just seconds into overtime. Like all great teams, Haus and the Whipsnakes found a way to get it done and extend the streak to 10 games – just four behind the Denver Outlaws all-time record of 14.
Despite only scoring once, Matt Rambo’s all-world vision was a huge factor in the Whipsnakes victory. Every time the Cannons double-teamed him, Rambo was able to find an open teammate and create a scoring chance. Speaking of deciding factors, you can’t overlook the three identical goals that Zed Williams scored off of Joe Nardella faceoff wins. Each time that it looked like the Cannons were about to go on a run, Whipsnakes leaned on Nardella’s faceoff dominance and ability to run the field culminating in an easy Williams goal.
The Cannons third game of the season also featured the first game of the season for ex-NFL’er Chris Hogan. The undrafted middie played exclusively on defense and on occasion transitioned the ball before heading off. Early on, Hogan was matched up against Williams and held his own.
“The bus ride over that I had today compared to my first NFL game was the exact same feeling. The exact same butterflies. The exact same nerves. The exact same intensity and focus that I expected from myself,” said Hogan. “These guys are the best players in the world and it’s an amazing opportunity that I was given today to be on this team and to play against these guys.”
Statistically, Whipsnakes were led by Zed Williams (6G), Brad Smith (2G, 1A) and Matt Rambo (1G,2A). Joe Nardella went 16/29 at the faceoff dot, good for 55%.
Lyle Thompson (4G, plus a whopping 14 shots on goal), Ryan Drenner (3G), and Paul Rabil (2G, 1A) paced the Cannons attack, while Nick Marrocco made 16 saves. The 35-year-old Rabil also had the goal of the game in the second quarter when he grabbed the ball in mid-air and then beat Whipsnakes goalie Kyle Bernlohr with a one-handed shot.
The Whipsnakes (2-0) will head to Homewood Field in Baltimore for the first game of Week 3 against Atlas on Friday. The Cannons (1-2) play on Sunday and they will also be taking on Atlas.
Atlas 12, Redwoods 9
In Saturday’s second game, Atlas’ Jake Carraway was the difference, scoring three regular goals and a 2-point goal as Atlas defeated the favoured Redwoods 12-9. Eric Law contributed a hat trick and an assist in the win. Jack Concannon made 17 saves for a strong .650 save percentage.
Rob Pannell led Redwoods with three goals, with the rest of the scoring evenly distributed between the team’s offense. TD Ierlan continued to impress at the X, winning 56% of his faceoffs.
The 1-1 Atlas will face the 2-0 Whipsnakes next Friday evening, while the 2-1 Redwoods will attempt to get back in the W column against the 0-2 Chaos on Saturday.