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10 Man Ride: Woods win in OT

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Jul 30, 2020

CLEAR! The ride is on. Pour an extra cup of coffee this morning as we recover from last night’s overtime thriller. We’re recapping the Woods 8-7 win over Chaos and previewing tonight’s slate: Atlas-Whipsnakes at 7:00PM on NBCSN and Chrome-Archers at 9:30PM on NBC Sports Gold.

Here are the standings through five days:

  1. Chrome (2-0, +5)
  2. Archers (2-0, +3)
  3. Whipsnakes (1-0, +4)
  4. Atlas (1-1, 0)
  5. Redwoods (1-2, -4)
  6. Waterdogs (0-2, -3)
  7. Chaos (0-2, -5)

1. “EXPELLIARMUS!” –Jack Near

Every time the Redwoods look lifeless, Jack Near (1A, 1CT, 1GB) gives them a jolt. Down 9-2 in the PLL Championship, Near sparked a comeback with a diving goal, a yard sale, and an assist on a Sergio Perkovic 2-pointer.

Near did it again last night. After a fifteen minute scoring drought by the Woods to open the game, Near stripped his man (of the ball and his stick!), pushed the break, and assisted Clarke Petterson.

Near – now a short-stick defensive midfielder – played attack in high school. People forget that. He’s an offensive threat even if opponents shush those four-on-three breaks. With an opposing attackman trapped on the field in the third quarter, Near jogged to X for a two-man game with Ryder Garnsey (2G). He picked (and re-picked) to help Garnsey shake the Defensive Player of the Year. When the six-on-six well goes dry, wringing points out of unusual semi-transition situations will separate teams.

2. Blaze breaks (his own) single-game saves record

Blaze Riorden’s 23 saves are the most in PLL history since… well, since Blaze Riorden made 21 saves. He saved 76.7% of shots. That’s unfathomable. I cannot fathom that number.

I was worried about the Chaos defense without Brodie Merrill. (I still am a bit.) Last night they played well. Tyson Bell was Glicking shots. Dan Coates was deflecting passes and shots while sliding. This unit can play well together (and will hopefully not be asked to keep opponents under seven goals ever again).

There will be some open shooters on the inside. That happens. These offenses can zip the ball, and scramble situations are by nature disadvantageous for the defense. Here two players collapse on Clarke Petterson, then both approach Garnsey at X, leaving Petterson. Blaze bails them out, because that’s what he does. A clean save from point blank after tracking the ball from the alley to X to the doorstep. Wow.

3. Tim Troutner!

 The best save of the day (and there were a lot of them) came from Redwoods LC goalie Tim Troutner. Fast break. Curtis Dickson. Point blank. Denied. This is a heist.

4. Two Slide of the Day

The Chaos’ open offense is very tough to slide to. There’s no sneaking up on them from the weakside. Dhane Smith sees this slide coming from a mile away. He has a two-on-one on the lefty side, but Eddy Glazener and M/FO/SSDM/LSM/EBUG Tyler Dunn converge on the ball.

5. Jarrod Neumann earned Canadian citizenship for this pick

Jarrod Neumann has not attempted a shot inside the arc in his PLL career. I’m not positive, but I don’t think Jarrod Neumann has ever even stepped inside the arc in his PLL career. Until last night.

Neumann has been blanketed in transition dating back to last postseason. It’s the Golden State Warriors treatment; teams would rather give up an easy 1-point shot than a Neumann 2-bomb. Neumann’s counter: Throwing a pass down pick down to Curtis Dickson (1G, 2A).

6. Mark Glicini earned his Canadian citizenship, too

Glicini got in on the pass down pick down action, too. The Chaos’ Canadian influence is infecting its lethal transition game, and I’m here for it. Picks create shots. This is a four-on-four because Brent Adams absolutely hoofs it into the hole; Glicini creates an advantage where there was none.

Sidenote: The Redwoods need to stop throwing these blind throwbacks. That’s a pick-six. Teams are rotating to those actions and anticipating the pass. Shorter passes – preferably to Myles Jones (1G, 2A), who has been at his best as a popper/re-dodger – will help this six-on-six offense get back on track.

7. Bryan Costabile: Shooting from 11:00 to 5:00

Bryan Costabile had a two-way breakout on Monday night against the Archers. His overhand shot mechanics make him one of the league’s most accurate midfielders. Josh Schafer caught up with Costabile, head coach Ben Rubeor, and shooting coach Torre Kasemeyer – who has also worked with Deemer Class and Ryan Brown – to understand how Costabile deceives goalies with shoulder dips and mechanics that give no prior warning. Read more.

8. Whips’ six-on-five substitution game

Joe Nardella and the Whipsnakes outnumbered and outscored the Redwoods after faceoff wins. Atlas’ six-on-six defense should improve with Tucker Durkin back, allowing Kevin Unterstein to return to SSDM. But can they defend breaks, both fast and slow?

Atlas and Whips meet tonight at 7:00PM ET on NBC Sports.

9. Jesse Bernhardt, splitting two

This two slide by Bernhardt is perfect. His body bumps up toward Brent Adams on the pop – but his stick stays in the passing lane to Matt Kavanagh. He’s splitting two players on opposite sides of the field. If he commits any more toward Adams, then Kavanagh is open; but any closer to Kavanagh, and he wouldn’t be able to approach Adams in time.

Kyle Harrison tries to look him off of Kavanagh to open up the skip. I wonder if Bernhardt was baiting him the whole time.

Bernhardt and the Chrome defense will take on Grant Ament, Tom Schreiber, Will Manny, Marcus Holman, and the Archers offense tonight at 9:30PM ET on NBC Sports Gold.

10. Round 4: Bones Kelly vs. Connor Farrell

Connor Farrell took the first two matches (63% and 70%, respectively) at the faceoff stripe. Bones Kelly dominated in the postseason (80%). Can Farrell figure out Kelly’s new rake move? Can Kelly still outrun Farrell? Tonight’s battle for first place begins at the faceoff stripe. 9:30PM ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Thanks for reading!

Spread the word, submit any questions you want to see answered in this space to me on Twitter (@joekeegs), and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

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