16x9_Game11_Final

Chrome Escape With Victory After Incredible Comeback From Waterdogs

By Doug Greenberg | Aug 1, 2020

Just when you think you’ve seen it all in PLL, the league continues to surprise. After a Chrome domination for the majority of the game, Waterdogs mounted a tremendous comeback in the fourth quarter, falling just short and giving Chrome the narrow 13-12 victory.

 

Breakdown

This game began even enough. John Ranagan started the scoring by driving from midfield for Chrome. Kieran McArdle, who finished the evening with a game-high five goals, struck back for Waterdogs by finishing on the two-on-one. Then Jordan MacIntosh got on the board for the first time with a bevy of fakes to lose his defender and finish with the goal.

Chrome would get goals from Matt Gaudet, Jesse King, and Justin Guterding, while Waterdogs would get another from McArdle shooting at a tough angle, and Drew Simoneau, who split time at the stripe with Jake Withers, scoring off a faceoff. It was a 5-3 game after one.

The next two quarters were strictly the property of Chrome. John Galloway put on a show in this time period, shutting out Waterdogs for 28 minutes of game time and finishing the evening with 13 saves and 57 percent of shots stopped. In the offensive end, it was all about Jordan Wolf’s generosity: the veteran attackman compiled four assists in the first half and would finish the night without a goal. Chrome would get second goals from Gaudet, Guterding and King in the second quarter to bring the tally to 8-4 Chrome at halftime.

The third quarter was much of the same. Chrome would get goals from MacIntosh on a helper from Brendan Kavanaugh, Ranagan on a rocket stepdown, and Will Haus unassisted. The team in black led by eight going into the fourth quarter, and would quickly extended the lead off of a bizarre two-point goal from Kavanaugh; the Hofstra product appeared to pass it to Gaudet, who whiffed on the ball, allowing it to trickle into the back of the net.

At this point, with the scoreboard reading 13-3, Waterdogs switched out Charlie Cipriano for rookie Matt DeLuca in goal, and from there, everything started to click for the Dogs. McArdle would storm straight to the cage for a hattrick, get his fourth of the night minutes later, and Ben McIntosh finished one of his own. After Steven DeNapoli buried a two-bomb to bring his team within five, the comeback seemed feasible. 

It was almost to be too. Simoneau scored again off the faceoff, followed quickly by McArdle notching his fifth score of the night. Connor Kelly then ripped a two-pointer to miraculously get the Waterdogs to within one point of Chrome.

Chrome needed something to turn the tide with a minute remaining and Connor Farrell would answer the call. The Long Island native would win 50 percent of his faceoffs on the night, but none more important than this one, that gave his squad possession, allowing them to run out the clock to 11.2 seconds remaining. In their haste to get downfield, Waterdogs made a critical error, going offsides with just seconds remaining and sealing the 13-12 victory for Chrome. 

 

Ramifications

This was an excellent bounce-back win for Chrome after their tough loss to Archers on Thursday night, but it wasn’t without its faults. Sure, the team looked very complete for three quarters, but they almost conceded this game with their extremely poor fourth. Still, Chrome becomes the first team to finish Group Play and they do so with a solid 3-1 record, setting them up for good seeding in the Elimination Round.

Waterdogs, on the other hand, find themselves in an 0-3 hole and looking for the elusive first win in club history. Their problem seemed to be the opposite of Chrome’s; they played outstanding lacrosse for one quarter, but you need all three to win the game. They also seemed to play better when DeLuca took over the cage, so we’ll see if he gets the nod when the Dogs take on Chaos on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET.