Eliminated from contention for the inaugural PLL championship, Chrome and Atlas turned their attention to the 2020 collegiate draft’s first overall pick. As the two teams took the field, a second-round bye and a direct trip to Philadelphia to play for the No. 1 pick was on the line.
Atlas, averaging 15 goals a game in their two wins over Chrome, looked to continue their offensive success they have had against them. Connor Buczek opened the scoring as he stepped around a pick from Joel Tinney and buried his first 2-pointer of the afternoon. Atlas would continue to dominate the first quarter, amounting a four goal lead as Eric Law and Ryan Conrad scored in transition and Buczek added another single rolling back on a lefty alley to his strong right hand. Jordan Wolf would tally the lone Chrome goal, sprinting past Atlas All-Star defenseman Tucker Durkin for an up the hash finish past Jack Concannon.
Entering the second quarter up 5-1 and on a three goal run, Atlas added to their lead as Buczek found the back of the net twice in the first three minutes of the second quarter. First, a 2-pointer on the powerplay ricocheted off Chrome defenseman Chris Sabia’s stick and found the upper corner as John Galloway tracked the ball low. Atlas continued to ride Buczek’s hot hand, finding him out of the box during substitutions. Buczek took advantage of an unorganized Chrome defense, dodged short stick defensive midfielder Max Tuttle, and put the ball between Galloway’s legs for his sixth point of the game.
The two teams would trade goals to finish the first half and Atlas would take a 10-4 lead into halftime behind Buczek’s six points and Concannon’s 70 percent save percentage.
Atlas widened their six goal lead to eight to open the second half as Paul Rabil buried his first goal of the game on a textbook lefty alley dodge, putting it low and away to beat Galloway. Eric Law followed that up with a diving goal, assisted by Chris Cloutier, as the Chrome defense recovered and failed to rotate in time.
Chrome would answer the back-to-back goals from Atlas with a three-goal run of their own as Justin Guterding finished a cross-field feed from Ned Crotty and Simon Mathias, and Jordan Wolf beat their defenders for unassisted goals. Chrome narrowed the Atlas’ lead to five with just over four minutes to play but couldn’t close the gap any further as Ryan Brown finished a pass from John Crawley and Buczek hit his record-setting third 2-pointer of the night.
Entering the fourth quarter up 15-7, Atlas tacked on two more and won the game 17-8. A record setting nine goals from Buczek and a 65 percent save percentage from Concannon was the difference as Atlas clinched a second-round bye and a chance to play for the second overall pick. Chrome will meet Archers in New York to decide who will join Atlas in the pursuit for the first overall pick.