Redwoods survive Chaos 10-9 on Ryder Garnsey’s low-angle rip

By Lauren Merola | Aug 16, 2021

Myles Jones had five points (1G, 1T, 2A) to lead the Redwoods past Chaos 10-9 in both teams’ final regular-season game in Albany. 

Ryder Garnsey backed into Ian MacKay on the low angle and ripped it far-side over Blaze Riorden to give the Redwoods the one goal lead with 20 seconds left to play. Chaos got one more shot off when Riorden found himself in front of the Redwoods’ crease, but the bounce went wide.

“I thought we had plenty of opportunities and this game is a beautiful game in the fact that you can dominate 45 minutes of the game and a bounce here, or a missed save and good play could result in a win or loss,” Riorden said. “I thought our defense did a great job putting Ryder in a spot where I should make a save and Ryder made a play. Timmy came up with a couple of saves for them and I was unable to be clutch at the end of the game. It’s a tough loss for our team but at the same time last weekend we had about a 13% chance of making the playoffs and we were fighting for the three and four spot. Today, we’ve come a long way and I still think we took steps in the right direction.”

With the win, the Redwoods move into fourth place and will take on Whipsnakes in the first round of playoffs. Chaos drops to sixth place and plays the Archers. 

On the night, Garnsey added two goals and Sergio Perkovic three points, on one goal and one two-pointer.

“Ryder’s a catalyst for us with his energy,” Redwood's coach Nat St. Laurent said. “He flips the switch and he plays possessed out there. I think what we’re starting to see is the evolution of him. He gets to coach at Notre Dame so he’s around the game even more. He’s one of the most creative players I’ve ever seen.”

Chase Fraser put five goals on the board for Chaos. Chris Cloutier and Ryan Smith each scored one.

It was a battle between the pipes as Riorden and Timmy Troutner came to play. Both made it hard for each team to score.

Riorden made 13 saves (62%), caused two turnovers and grabbed six ground balls. Troutner made 17 saves (65%), caused one turnover and scooped up six ground balls.

It was a tight game from wire-to-wire. At half, Redwoods led Chaos 6-5. Redwoods had eight turnovers and Chaos nine. Both teams were blocking and dropping passes. St. Laurent said both teams were tired and slowing down the game was a point of focus at halftime.

The Redwoods struggled to control the pace of the game without TD Ierlan

Chaos went 82% from the stripe in the first half and grabbed 25 ground balls to the Redwoods’ 17. Charlie Leonard ended the game winning 29% at center. Leonard stepped up to the stripe for the Redwoods after Ierlan left the game Friday with an injury. Of 206 faceoffs taken on the season, Ierlan won 203.

“TD going down was tough and we had to battle that fourth quarter [of the Whipsnakes game] without him and we knew coming in today Charlie Leonard was going to have to step up so I think it’s a, ‘By any means’ type of mentality for this team,” Jones said. “We’re going to do the little things, big things, in-between to get the wins that we need in play-off times. We have to go 1-0 every weekend. It’s not going to be, ‘This guy step up, this guy step up,’ it’s going to be a collective unit both individually and as a team to get it done.”

St. Laurent said he’ll have an update on Ierlan in the middle of next week, leading into playoffs.

Max Adler has hit his stride this season, winning 14-of-20 faceoffs and 11-of-21 (52%) on Friday. In Adler’s first three games, he won an average of 48% of faceoffs. In his last three games, he won 56%.

“[Adler’s] seemingly gotten better every step of the way,” Chaos coach Andy Towers said. “Today was, I think, his best statistical performance. We look at faceoff success as a three-person unit. I give credit to Max he was dominant at the X on the front end of the whistle. His wings did a great job of competing when Charlie Leonard controlled his moves.”

At 70% on the day, the game against the Redwoods was Adler’s best statistical performance.

The playoffs open up August 20 in Salt Lake City.

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