16x9_Game5_Matchup

Archers vs. Waterdogs: Matchup Preview

By Josh Schafer | Jul 28, 2020

After both playing opening games against Atlas, the Archers and Waterdogs will matchup Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The Archers won their matchup with Atlas, 11-10, while the Waterdogs couldn’t maintain an early lead in an eventual 11-10 loss. 

The difference in the two team's games was the ability to finish down the stretch. The Archers scored three goals in the final half following an explosive second quarter. Meanwhile, the Waterdogs didn’t score in the final 18 minutes of the game, despite a dominant performance at the faceoff stripe. 

If the Waterdogs are to win their first game in club history, it’ll have to be a more complete performance.

Main Storylines

Can the Archers offense do it again?
Grant Ament looked electric in his first PLL game on Monday night. The first overall pick in the College Draft created opportunities for himself driving from X and also dished to his teammates from the top side of the cage. Ament finished with three goals and two assists while the rest of his fellow attackmen each popped in a goal as well. 

When you combine the star-studded attack of Ament, Will Manny, and Marcus Holman with a midfielder like Tom Schreiber you’ll get six-goal quarters as the Archers had against Atlas. The question entering their second game in less than 24 hours, is can the Archers find a way to replicate the success despite potential fatigue?

The Archers will be playing on the shortest rest of any team thus far in the Championship Series. It’ll be interesting to see if that impacts the game in the fourth quarter. 

Waterdogs need consistency
The expansion club scored when handed opportunities on Sunday, including a 2-of-4 performance on the power-play. But despite holding Trevor Baptiste to his worst faceoff performance in the PLL, the Waterdogs didn’t take advantage of their additional possessions. 

Down the stretch, the Waterdogs couldn’t find the back of the net, partly due to a stellar performance from Jack Concannon in the cage for Atlas. Ben Reeves created well for the Waterdogs in their last game but never scored. Look for him to finish more and whoever replaces Zach Currier (head injury) to potentially add some scoring as well. 

Major matchup:
So who’s going to stop Ament and how will they do it? In the Waterdogs first game, BJ Grill drew Rob Pannell. It’s likely the 5’5 defender would then drive the star X attackman on Tuesday in Ament. 

Waterdogs attackman praised Grill’s quick fit and center of gravity during training camp. Both of those matchup better with Ament, a smaller yet quicker attackman than Pannell. 

If the Waterdogs play Ament like they played Pannell on Sunday, quick slides could lead to assist opportunities for Ament. That’d be something we didn’t see as much of for Ament against Atlas as the young rookie shook defenders behind the cage for uncontested goals above goal-line extended. If Ament does indeed get treated similarly to Pannell then look out for Schreiber up top. If the attention folds too far on one end of the cage, Schreiber could have time to take a run before releasing a rocket from the topside. 


Ramifications

No team has two wins yet. A win would put the Archers in that category. For a young Waterdogs team, this game could determine whether or not personnel shifts need to be made anywhere on the roster or if things are meshing just fine through the club’s first two games. An 0-2 start would likely remove the Waterdogs out of the conversation for a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

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