Troutner, Redwoods Come Away Victorious In Defensive Bout Against Chaos
By Doug Greenberg | Jul 30, 2020
In a tight defensive battle that tested the creativity of both of these offenses, Redwoods were able to squeak by Chaos with an 8-7 overtime victory.
Scoring was at a premium in the first half to say the least, especially for Redwoods. Blaze Riorden was lights out in the first quarter and for much of the game, finishing the evening with a 77 save percentage for a PLL single-game record 23 saves. His stout play allowed Chaos to get things going on the other end, as Josh Byrne would get on the board first with a pump fake and rip. Curtis Dickson put one in as well to conclude the scoring in the first frame.
Fitting with the theme of this game, much of the offense was created with solid defense. Redwoods got their first tally of the night when Jack Near made a nice defensive play and found Clarke Petterson for the stepdown goal.
Chaos would strike back once more before halftime: Connor Fields scored his fourth goal of the Championship series on a ridiculous pass from Dickson.
After trailing 3-1 at halftime, Redwoods came alive in the third quarter, rattling off four unanswered scores. It began with a Myles Jones score off the dodge, moved on to a Sergio Perkovic two-pointer, and finished off with Ryder Garnsey scoring from X off the two-man game with Near. Tim Troutner, who finished with 71 percent of shots saved off of 15 saves, shutout Chaos in this quarter to keep the score 5-3.
But this late-night game was not over by any stretch of the imagination. Following a Redwoods score from Brendan Gleason, Jake Froccaro notched his first goal of the Championship Series to bring the game back within two. Byrne then reduced the deficit to one off a feed from Mark Glicini, who just forced a turnover in the defensive end.
It all seemed over when Joe Walters, also scoring his first of the tournament, sniped a pinpoint lower corner shot with just minutes remaining. But Troy Reh would not let this game go, ripping a two-pointer with a minute and a half remaining to send this one to overtime.
The teams butted heads for the first few minutes of overtime, but it would be Redwoods that would emerge from the scuffle. With Jones drawing the attention of the defense, Garnsey slipped to the crease to put away the walk-off winner and give Woods the 8-7 victory.
This was a must-win for Redwoods and they were up to the task. Going into Saturday’s matchup against a strong Atlas squad with an 0-3 record could have been a recipe for failure, so to get their first win of the Championship Series was huge here.
It’s not an ideal scenario for Chaos but at least they had a lot of bright spots from this loss: Riorden and the defense were excellent this evening and the team repeatedly answered the call when down. If the offense can start clicking, then the defending champion Whipsnakes could be in trouble on Friday at 7 PM ET.