Ament Ties Record, Archers Come Away With Dramatic Overtime Win
By Doug Greenberg | Jul 31, 2020
What a game.
After a lengthy delay and a first half that was all Archers, viewers who braved the late night hours were treated to another amazing “Chromeback”, but one that ultimately came up just short, as Archers would come away with an extraordinary 13-12 overtime victory.
Thursday night’s game began normally, but quickly took a turn for the bizarre when a power outage due to extreme heat in Utah caused an hour and 45-minute delay in play. However, before the game was officially stalled but after the TV cameras went dark, Christian Mazzone buried a goal on the feed from Grant Ament to give their team the lead.
When play resumed, Archers dominated. Will Manny got on the scoresheet next and Chrome were able to get on the board from a Jordan MacIntosh goal, but from there, Archers went on a 6-1 run that began with a phenomenal goal from Ament.
The rookie would finish the night with five assists, tying his teammate Tom Schreiber for the PLL single-game assist record. Speaking of Schreiber, the reigning Midfielder of the Year would score the next goal unassisted. The rest of the goals in the Archers’ run belonged to Ian MacKay, who would score from two-point land, and Will Manny, who would score two one-point goals. All four of those points were off assists from Ament.
The Archers defense, led by Matt McMahon’s three caused turnovers and three ground balls, was stifling in the first half. The Chrome attackman most often on the receiving end of McMahon’s attention was Jordan Wolf. The All-Star was held without a point until the closing minutes of the first half when he emerged from a scrum with the ball and buried one on the fast break. At the half, Archers led Chrome 8-3.
But in the third quarter, it was Chromeback time. Wolf quickly got another goal on a great feed from Justin Guterding, then Sam Duggan lasered a two-point stepdown. Will Haus would score one with his speed off a faceoff, and Matt Gaudet would record two goals of his own to offset one scored by Archers’ Scott Ratliff.
When it was all said and done, Chrome went on its own 6-1 run to tie the game at nine after three quarters of play.
If each of the previous quarters belonged to one of the two teams, the fourth quarter belonged to neither; Archers and Chrome would go back and forth trading blows until the end of the contest. It began with another goal from Archers’ Mazzone, followed by another from Chrome’s MacIntosh, followed by Joey Sankey’s first of the Championship Series.
Chrome appeared to maybe have this game in the bag in the closing stages: Justin Guterding, who had been kept from the back of the net all night, scored his first on a rebound after an incredible save from Drew Adams. Guterding would score again shortly afterward to give Chrome its first lead of the night.
But Tom Schreiber wouldn’t let his team go down without a fight: he drove to the right side off a pick from Josh Currier and made a beautiful finish to send this game to overtime.
In overtime, it was Ryan Ambler’s turn to play hero, though Ament would get to share some of the glory. The rookie found the veteran with an insane feed, and Ambler would put the ball away to give Archers the 13-12 overtime victory.
Archers are starting to look like the team to beat in the Championship Series, and not just because of the skill of the players; tonight’s victory proved that they can win with their talent, but they can also win when the going gets tough. In a short-format tournament like this, that can prove to be all the difference between the championship and an early exit. Their game against Whipsnakes on Sunday at 12PM ET will be their greatest test yet and could be a preview of the Championship Game.
This is certainly a heartbreaking loss for Chrome, but there are plenty of silver linings to go around. For one, this team did itself a favor by winning its first two games, ensuring they could stay afloat in the standings. For another, like Archers, they proved again that they can fight back when the chips are down, much like they did in their opening game against Chaos. They’ll have a chance to get back in the win column against Waterdogs on Friday at 9:30 PM ET.