Two big takeaways from Atlas outlasting Whipsnakes to clinch Homecoming sweep

By Lauren Merola and Adam Lamberti | Jun 2, 2024

Two games, two wins for the New York Atlas on PLL Opening Weekend.

After knocking off the Boston Cannons on Saturday, the Atlas capped a successful Homecoming in Albany, N.Y., with a 17-13 victory over the Maryland Whipsnakes on Sunday.

Here were our beat writers' top takeaways from the Week 1 finale:

Lauren Merola: It’s up to you (all) New York, New York

Connor Shellenberger, the Atlas rookie who dazzled Saturday with three goals and five assists, was out Sunday with a groin injury, and New York proved it is so much more than one player in the second game of its season-opening doubleheader.

Gavin Adler also was not playing at 100%, according to head coach and general manager Mike Pressler, nor was Bryan Costabile, who was running on a tweaked ankle. 

Still, the Atlas scoresheet shined. Jeff Teat, after posting 11 points Saturday, scored three goals, as did Xander Dickson and Dox Aitken. Eight New York players notched at least one score.

Rookie Tyler Carpenter capped off the weekend with six ground balls, Trevor Baptiste went 20-of-27 from the stripe against a tougher assignment than Saturday in Petey LaSalla and Tim Troutner made 14 saves (58.3%).

The Atlas lunged out to a 7-1 lead by the end of the first quarter and led by as many as nine but started to wear at the end of the third, seen most in the substitution game. The Bulls then reclaimed the pace of the game, slowing it down to escape the weekend with another win.

New York heads into Week 2 with as many wins as it totaled in 2023 thanks to a total – though tired – team effort.

Up next for New York: vs. Carolina Chaos (Saturday, June 8, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Adam Lamberti: Slow start for Whipsnakes too much to overcome

The Whipsnakes' season opener did not get off to a good start.

The Atlas, playing their second game of the weekend, flew out to a 10-1 first-half lead. Starting goaltender Kyle Bernlohr was pulled midway through the first quarter after allowing 6 goals and registering zero stops. Backup Brendan Krebs was shaky at first in his place but settled in and made some key stops that propelled a Whipsnakes surge.

Highly touted rookie TJ Malone was a catalyst in chipping away at the Atlas’ lead as he recorded six points (3G, 3A) in his professional debut. Mike Chanenchuk connected on a pair of two-point goals and added a one-pointer.

The Whipsnakes closed the gap to two goals with 5:38 remaining in the game after a Roman Puglise strike in transition, but the Atlas answered with key goals by Aitken and Myles Jones to close out the game.

It was encouraging to see Maryland respond and make it a ballgame after the Atlas threatened to run away with it, but just like last year, the Whipsnakes got off to a slow start that they couldn’t overcome later in the game despite making plays.

The Whipsnakes will look to regroup as they head to Charlotte in Week 2.

Up next for Maryland: vs. Boston Cannons (Saturday, June 8, 5 p.m. ET)