Seizing the Throne: Chaos win 2021 PLL Championship
By Austin Owens | Sep 20, 2021
The nation’s capital played host to a championship coronation on Sunday at Audi Field, as the Chaos were able to best the Whipsnakes by a 14-9 score to take home the 2021 PLL Championship.
Dhane Smith capped off his incredible playoff run with another six-point performance, making it 18 total points across the team’s three playoff contests.
2021 Jim Brown Most Valuable Player award winner Blaze Riorden came up with another stellar outing when it mattered most for his team, as he turned away 15 shots on the day.
Joe Nardella helped the Whipsnakes take control of the possession game in the early going, winning the first four draws of the game. Jay Carlson and Justin Guterding scored two of the first three goals of the game, with a Dhane Smith marker splitting the pair.
But after that, Max Adler began to swing the momentum back in the Chaos’ favor. The team went on a 4-1 run to end the quarter, with Wes Berg, Fraser, Ryan Smith, and Mac O’Keefe getting on the board. Mike Chanenchuk added a late goal to make it 5-3 Chaos after 12 minutes.
The Whips quickly clawed the game back to a tie with a pair of tallies from Michael Ehrhardt and Guterding, but Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne answered back with a pair of their own. Brad Smith and O’Keefe traded goals to finish the second quarter and Chaos took an 8-6 advantage into the half.
The game became the Whipsnakes trying to trek uphill, as every one of their goals was answered with multiple goals from Andy Towers’ squad. Chanenchuk opened the third frame with a goal to make it 8-7, however, Chaos had an answer once again.
Fraser, Byrne and Cloutier rattled off three straight and just like that, it was a four-goal contest heading into the fourth.
On top of the offensive output, the Chaos defense also turned in arguably their best performance of the season, as they held Matt Rambo and Zed Williams -- the league’s two previous MVP winners -- to just two points combined with no goals. That also came down to Riorden, who was able to turn away the Whips’ shooters at crucial junctions in the game.
The Whipsnakes got a pair of goals from Carlson in the fourth, but that’s all they could muster. Fraser showed up on the biggest stage once again for Chaos, scoring a pair in the fourth to cement the four-goal outing. His final tally signaled the final nail in the coffin, and a Cloutier goal minutes later cemented the title.