Whipsnakes perfect powerplay pushes them past Redwoods, 12-11

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Jun 25, 2022

Matt Rambo (4G, 1A) and Whipsnakes LC head coach Jim Stagnitta continue to preach putting together four quality quarters. It sounds cliché. And likely extremely frustrating for opponents to hear the 4-0 Whipsnakes talk about needing to be better.

But they're right -- the Whipsnakes made plenty of mistakes. Kyle Bernlohr (12 saves, 55%) and Joe Nardella (15-for-23, 65 FO%) increase the team's margin for error when they play like this. The Whipsnakes committed nearly as many turnovers (24) as shots (29) and still won. Powerplays and fast breaks kept them close until Rambo's fourth quarter haymaker.

The Whipsnakes scored one settled goal in the first half (Justin Guterding's wormburner that trickled past Tim Troutner). Powerplay goals from Bryan Cole (1G, 1A) and Rambo -- and early offense in the form of a Zed Williams-Jay Carlson pick-n-roll in space plus Michael Ehrhardt (1T, 1A) finding Connor Kirst (1G) on the fast break -- kept the Whipsnakes in the game.

Eddy Glazener (4CT 1GB), Garrett Epple (4CT, 2GB), Arden Cohen (1CT, 2GB) and the Redwoods' six-on-six defense held the Whipsnakes to scoreless droughts of 8:59, 9,40, and 6:21 to close the game. Goals -- even shots -- were difficult to come by in settled sets for the two-time champs.

But when the Whipsnakes needed a settled goal most, they called on Rambo.

As Austin Owens previewed, the Whipsnakes recent success against the Redwoods has come when they've been able to switch Epple off Rambo. Not many defenders can match Rambo's physicality at goal-line extended. Epple is one of them; but when he gets picked, Rambo feasts.

The Redwoods will look to rebound against the Archers on Friday, July 1st at 7PM ET.

The Whipsnakes are headed toward a rematch with the Waterdogs (1-3) on Saturday, July 2nd in Minnesota at 8:45PM ET -- followed by a fireworks show at TCO Stadium.

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