Rookies Shine As Archers Win Their First Of Championship Series
By Doug Greenberg | Jul 28, 2020
In a game that featured several veterans who continue to make their cases for some of the greatest of all time, it was the rookies that took this game over, as Archers would defeat Atlas by a final score of 11-10 in a thriller.
Tom Schreiber picked up much where he left off from the 2019 campaign, notching Archers’ first goal of the season quickly. Atlas would immediately answer, though, as the recently acquired Romar Dennis ripped a stepdown shot from the top to tie it up.
One of the biggest stories coming into this contest was the highly anticipated debut of Grant Ament, the number one overall selection in the 2020 Rookie Draft. Bryan Costabile, the second overall pick in that draft, seemed to take exception to that, as he came roaring out of the gates: the Notre Dame product put in his first career two-point goal to give Atlas the lead, following it up with a gorgeous diving goal from the alley. Atlas remained firmly in control after one.
With the first-game jitters seemingly shaken, Ament started to take this game over. The rookie from Penn State scored his first career goal on a backdoor cut that left his defender dumbfounded. He would showcase his signature speed again moments later, making a beautiful move from X for the second goal of his career.
Ament’s emergence sparked something for Archers, as they would go on a 6-1 run in the second quarter, which included goals from 2020 Entry Draft pick Christian Mazzone, Will Manny, Schreiber and another from Ament to give him three in the quarter. Archers would head into the locker room with an 8-6 lead.
Atlas, and particularly Costabile, would continue to fight back. John Crawley came out of the locker and scored a goal on the feed from Rob Pannell. Costabile would follow it up with two goals surrounding a score from Archers’ Marcus Holman. After a disappointing first game against Waterdogs, Trevor Baptiste came back strong in this one, winning 62 percent of his faceoffs. Atlas trailed by one after three quarters of play.
A testament to Archers’ defensive play in this one would have to start with their containment of Pannell: the veteran superstar took nine shots in this one but only converted one of them with less than a minute left. The defensive corps, led by Matt McMahon, was aggressive and stout all night, while Adam Ghitelman and Drew Adams combined for 59 percent of shots saved. Pannell’s effort gave Atlas a chance, but a blocked shot by Curtis Corley on a Paul Rabil shot would preserve the victory for Archers.
Beginning the Championship Series with a win is always nice, especially when the rest of the league has already played before you, so Archers have to be going into their matchup against Waterdogs on Tuesday with a great deal of confidence. Ament looked lethal at attack and will likely continue to shine throughout the tournament.
The loss for Atlas is a blow, but not a huge one considering their opening weekend win over Waterdogs. The offense didn’t always look to be on the same page in this one, but they’ll have time to fix it before their huge clash with Whipsnakes on Thursday at 7 PM ET.