Redwoods-Waterdogs Preview

By Katie McNulty | Jul 2, 2021

Where to Watch

  • Saturday, July 3rd
  • 12:00 p.m. ET 
  • NBC and Peacock

Anytime you lose to a team in the playoffs, that game is going to be circled on your calendar for the next season. Last year in the Championship Series, the Redwoods defeated the Waterdogs 11-8 in the elimination round. The Waterdogs will hope to get a little bit of revenge against the Redwoods on Saturday. 

Major Matchup

When the Waterdogs won both their games this season, Ryan Brown was involved and scoring multiple goals. In week one, the Cannons held Brown to zero goals in a 13-7 loss. In week three, Brown had just one goal in a 17-8 loss to the Archers.

In week two is where Brown had an impressive showing, finishing with eight points. Redwoods defender Garrett Epple will have his hands full this week guarding Brown. Epple’s recorded eight caused turnovers and eight ground balls this season. Brown isn’t just someone who waits for the ball to come to him. He may be one of the toughest players in the league to cover off-ball. 

Redwoods Offense 

The Redwoods were missing a strong faceoff guy last season, and it’s exactly why they drafted TD Ierlan with their first pick. But their offense still doesn’t look like it’s clicking and generating a ton of goals even though he’s won 66% of his matchups. They average 11 goals a game so far, but their turnovers are far too much for head coach Nat St. Laurent’s liking. Last week they turned it over 15 times in an 11-9 loss to Chaos. 

Quarterback Rob Pannell is leading the league in points with 16 points, but he has had 11 turnovers in four games, with six of them coming against the Chaos last week. While it’s easier said than done, Pannell will have to control those turnovers tomorrow.

Dillon Ward’s Rebounds

Dillon Ward made 13 saves last week, but the Archers rebounded 58.3% of their misses.

Ward is known for that high arc when he practically comes all the way out to the top of the crease. Standing at 6-foot-5, his height and his arc certainly gives him an advantage, but it also gives teams too many second-chance opportunities.

Although the Archers didn’t get every rebound that came off of Ward’s stick, we can expect the Redwoods to come out and hustle for every loose ball. They are on a two-game losing streak after losing to Atlas and Chaos, so they will be doing everything they can to snap that on Saturday. 

What’s at Stake

With a game against the Whipsnakes next week, the Redwoods are absolutely looking to get back on track on Saturday. A win would give this team the confidence they need right now after dropping two straight. 

If the Waterdogs capture a win, they would improve to 3-2 heading into their doubleheader next week against the Cannons and Chrome, and that’s exactly what you want. 

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