Chrome fend off Archers for 11-10 victory

By Austin Owens | Jun 6, 2022

Chrome was able to hold off a late surge from the Archers, coming out of Albany, NY with a 11-10 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Dylan Molloy led the way offensively for Chrome, posting two goals and adding a pair of helpers for the night. He was helped by good outings from rookie Brendan Nichtern (2G, 1A), Eli Salama (1T, 1A), and Jordan MacIntosh (2G).

Connor Farrell was able to go 14 of 23 from the stripe (61 percent) with 11 ground balls, and goaltender Sean Sconone turned away 11 shots to help seal the victory. 

Despite the many new faces on the Chrome offensive unit, the team took control in the opening minutes of the game. Jackson Morrill was able to get topside and get his shot on the run to fall past Adam Ghitelman just 59 seconds into the contest. 

The Beauties were able to extend their lead off a 5-on-5 goal from MacIntosh, who inverted and was able to drive Dominique Alexander up field, and throw a question mark dodge to get his hands free for the finish. Colin Heacock added a goal off a quick cut and crease dive finish – shaking off a check from Graeme Hossack while airborne in the process. 

Will Manny stopped the run with a stepdown goal off a Scott Ratliff feed in transition, however, Salama answered back immediately. The LSM came off the wing on the ensuing draw, receiving a pass in the middle of the field before stepping into a 2-point crank to up the Chrome lead to 5-1 with 4:35 remaining in the first.

The Archers got two of the final three goals of the quarter to narrow the gap. Connor DeSimone got his first goal in the PLL and then, the rookie assisted on a Marcus Holman marker to bookmark the first. MacIntosh’s second split those two tallies, making it a 6-3 advantage for Chrome after 15 minutes. 

The high pace continued into the second quarter, with both teams trading chances on the run, however, the frame was a low-scoring one, seeing just two goals scored – both by Chrome. 

Nichtern got the first of his PLL career after working the two-man game with MacIntosh from X, getting free from Hossack in the process. Molloy added another minutes later, cutting through the Archers’ stick checks to finish off a tough sequence. 

Chrome’s defense and starter Sconone made a massive mark to end the half, making several key defensive stops against a high-powered Archers’ offense. 

“We really just wanted to trust each other on the ball. They can sling the ball with the best of them, so we didn’t want to move too much and let them create too much offense. I think it worked relatively well today,” said Chrome defender JT Giles-Harris, who was making his PLL debut. “I was just listening to the older guys and what they saw. Obviously, they have a lot of experience on defense between Manley and Jesse (Bernhardt). I was just listening to our leadership and they made it easy.”

Heading into the half, Chrome held an 8-3 advantage.

The third quarter was a bounce-back one for the Archers, who held Chrome scoreless while within a score on a three-goal run. Will Manny was able to bury a shot on the short-side post past Sconone to open the quarter. DeSimone beat Mike Messenger from X just a minute later to make it 8-5. A crease-dive effort from Manny made it a two-goal game at the 1:26 mark. 

Heading into the fourth, the Archers had stolen momentum back from Chrome. 

Marcus Holman would cut the deficit to just one off an inside feed from Tom Schreiber, but back-to-back goals from Molloy and Nichtern pushed the lead back to three with seven minutes to go. 

The Archers made their biggest push of the game in the final five minutes of play. Ryan Ambler got free on a cut to the middle for a quick-hitter before a Manny skip pass to Tre Leclaire gave the Canadian a stepdown that he blew past Sconone to make it 10-9. 

But the eventual game winner came from the stick of Messenger. He and Salama both jumped up in transition. Salama looked to turn back up field to initiate a substitution, however, he’d re-engage near the top of the 2-point arc, leaving Messenger open with a shot from right in front. 

In the closing stages of the game, Messenger was ejected for throwing a punch, sending the Archers to the power play for the remainder of regulation. They got a quick strike from Holman to make it a one-goal game again with 57 seconds left. But in their final push for a tie, the Archers tried a pass to the middle off a cut, but Mike Manley sniffed it out, blowing up the play and helping Nick Grill cause a turnover in the process. 

Grill iced the game by launching the ball the length of the field, helping Chrome to pull out the close victory. 

“I wish we had put together 24 minutes in the second half that were better,” Chrome head coach Tim Soudan said post game. “I think it’s a maturity thing. We have some great leadership, but it’s going to be about trying to take that energy and focus into the second half and make sure that we realize it’s 0-0 no matter what. In this league, you’re looking to win every quarter.”

Chrome will be set to try and make it two straight victories to open the 2022 season when they face the Redwoods on Friday night in Charlotte, NC. The Archers will feature in the second half of that June 10 doubleheader, as they’ll look for a measure of revenge against Chaos later in the night.