GAME RECAP: Atlas defeats Chrome in Hamilton

Chrome vs. Atlas Week 9 Hamilton Recap

“Now it means a little more,” Chrome LC attackman and the league points leader entering this weekend, Justin Guterding, said before his club’s matchup against the Atlas. “It’s do or die.”

With playoff fates on the line, Chrome continued their string of quick starts. Will Haus scored 21 seconds into the game. Paul Rabil (3,1) answered less than 20 seconds later. His bounce shot past John Galloway’s stick side was his ninth goal of the season and showed the Atlas wouldn’t let the Chrome run away and hide as they did last weekend against the Whipsnakes.

“We’re in great shape,” Atlas Head Coach, John Paul, told his team after the first quarter despite trailing 4-2.

Connor Buczek (2,0) ended the Chrome’s 3-0 run when he powered a shot in while being checked by John Moderski. Rookie defenseman Cade Van Raaphorst scored his second two-pointer of the season from several yards behind the arc and tied the game at 5-5. Jordan MacIntosh, the only Canadian on the Chrome’s active roster, looked right at home in Hamilton. The 29-year-old midfielder from Oakville, Ontario, left 50 tickets for his family and friends. They got to watch him score four goals in the first half. MacIntosh consistently found holes within the middle of the Atlas defense. He elevated his goals total to 20, after having only four goals through the first four weeks.

“Even a month ago we were a confident team, but kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Ned Crotty told NBC sideline reporter, Paul Burmeister, after he put Chrome ahead 8-6. “If we limit our mistakes we’re a tough team to beat.”

Chrome led 9-6 at halftime and looked like a different team from the one that only put up seven goals during their Week 7 loss to the Archers in Denver.

Rabil opened the scoring for the Atlas again to start the second half after he got free with a hesitation dodge. He then completed a no look skip pass during a power play to Kieran McArdle on the crease. McArdle’s 21st goal of the season whittled the Chrome’s lead to one. The Chrome led 12-11 entering the fourth.

The fourth quarter featured three lead changes. Romar Dennis scored his second goal of the game with 3:43 to play and doubled his season total. Buczek, who scored the game-winner last time these clubs faced off in Week 3, ran straight through the Chrome defense and tied the game at 13. Ned Crotty (2,1) went coast to coast and slipped his shot past Jack Concannon. The effort with 1:27 left in the game appeared to prolong the Chrome’s playoff hopes. Rabil dashed them. He capped off his hat trick and scored the game winner with 59 seconds to play on an on-the-run shot from 14 yards out. Ryan Brown (4G,1T) sealed the 17-14 Atlas win with a two-pointer on an empty net. While the Atlas were the lowest scoring second-half team entering Week 9, they erupted against the Chrome and put up 11 goals after the half.

The Atlas will try to win two games in a row for the first time all season next weekend when they battle the Chaos on August 24 at 8PM ET in Albany, New York. The Chrome will face the Redwoods on August 25 at 4:30PM.

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