As the sun set behind Banc of California Stadium Sunday night, the best players in the world took center stage for the first PLL All-Star Game. Between an around-the-world assist and bounce passes, the game featured incredible saves and tons of assisted goals.
As thousands of Southern California fans found their way to their seats, Trevor Baptiste and Greg Gurenlian faced off to begin the PLL All-Star game. Only 41 seconds into the game, Myles Jones found Kyle Hartzell in transition to put Team Baptiste on the board. Team Rambo quickly answered as Joe Walters assisted Drew Snider to even the score at one. The two teams would continue to trade goals in the first quarter, highlighted by both teams burying one from behind the 2-point arc.
Entering the second quarter knotted up at six, the second quarter belonged to Blaze Riorden. As a left-handed forward for the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League, Riorden is no stranger to the offensive end of the field. Chaos’ goalie found the back of the net twice, assisted by Fields and Jules Heningburg. Then, with just 10 seconds left in the half, Riorden fed Fields to extend Team Rambo’s lead to three.
Matt Rambo and Jordan Wolf connected to open up the third quarter and Team Rambo increased their lead to four, the biggest by either team. While the second quarter belonged to Riorden, Mike Chanenchuk owned the offensive end in the third quarter. His two 2-pointers allowed Team Baptiste to take a 15-13 lead into the fourth and final quarter. However, the highlight of the third quarter came on the defensive end as Team Baptiste defenseman Jarrod Neumann throws a back check that detwigs Matt Rambo.
Combining for 28 total goals through three quarters of play, the teams’ defenses clamped down in the final quarter. Led by All-Star MVP Jack Concannon (72.2% save percentage), Team Baptiste held Team Rambo to just five goals in the second half.
In the final minutes, Head Coach Nat St. Laurent called a timeout to set up his final play. With 58 seconds left in the game, Tom Schreiber isolated Jake Bernhardt and found Archers teammate Will Manny for the game-winning goal.
Following the game, previously selected players competed in the skills challenge. The challenges included: Fastest player, freestyle, goalie challenge, accuracy challenge, and fastest shot.
The winners of these competitions were:
Fastest player: Dan Eipp
Freestyle: Justin Guterding
Goalie challenge: Tim Troutner
Accuracy challenge: Marcus Holman
Fastest shot: Jarrod Neumann
As the All-Star break comes to a close, teams look forward to the final stretch of the season. Next week in Denver, Atlas open up Week 7 against Redwoods at 3pm MT followed by Chaos and Whipsnakes at 6pm MT. On Sunday, Archers look to rebound from four straight loses against Chrome, who are looking to put together back-to-back wins.