Whipsnakes Prevail Over Redwoods in Overtime to Reach Second Consecutive Title Game
By Doug Greenberg | Aug 7, 2020
Redwoods and Whipsnakes delivered another classic. Any fans who came into this matchup with high expectations probably had them met and then far exceeded, as Whipsnakes would take down Redwoods in overtime by a final score of 13-12 to return to the PLL Championship Game.
Whipsnakes would flex their might early in this one. Jay Carlson got on the board first, somehow scoring from his knees, then Mike Chanenchuk would put one in from just inside the two-point arc. Brendan Gleason ended the shutout for Redwoods by dodging down the left alley and putting one in the back of the net.
The Whips got plenty of scoring in this half, but it wasn’t from the usual sources; Matt Rambo and Zed Williams, the team’s two leading scorers, were each held without a point in the game. Instead, Whipsnakes saw goals from Brad Smith, Max Tuttle and Michael Ehrhardt from two-point range.
But the real star of the first half was Carlson. Following his first score, the Maryland product came back with an absurd backhanded flip to give Whips a three-goal lead.
Jack Near would score on a crease dive from X to make the score 4-2 Whipsnakes at the end of the first quarter. Carlson would continue his run of scoring, beating Tim Troutner twice more before the end of the half to give him four goals.
Much like they did all season, however, Redwoods would not go quietly in this game. After Whipsnakes took an 8-2 lead midway through the second quarter, ‘Woods struck back hard, getting unanswered goals from Patrick Harbeson, Matt Kavanagh, Clarke Petterson and Sergio Perkovic before Carlson would stop the bleeding for Whipsnakes, who would go to the locker room sporting a 9-6 lead.
If the first part of the game belonged to Carlson, the second portion belonged to Kavanagh, as the Notre Dame alum recorded a hat trick in the third quarter. After a quick Brent Adams score, Kavanagh finished on a nice skip pass from Myles Jones, then scored on a beautiful inside roll from X to bring Redwoods to within one after another Chanenchuk score for the Whips.
Kavanagh would tie the game for Redwoods shortly thereafter, but Whips would pull back ahead after Ehrhardt’s second two-bomb of the night. The score was 12-10 Whipsnakes just before the end of the third quarter.
After numerous frustrating encounters with Whips, Ryder Garnsey finally got to expel some of his demons against his team’s rival. The attackman scored from X to conclude the scoring in the third quarter, and also notched two assists earlier in the contest. The fourth quarter was a defensive gridlock: neither team scored until Garnsey made another lethal move from X, finishing with the backhand to tie the game and ultimately send this one to overtime.
Redwoods and Whipsnakes in overtime should sound familiar considering that’s where these two stood in last season’s title game, and this one was also a thriller. Plenty of big names tried to be the Rambo of this season; Williams had an excellent chance for Whips, while Jones and Adams also got great looks for ‘Woods. But at the end of the long night, it was Jeremy Sieverts who scored the final goal to send Whipsnakes to their second consecutive title game.
Redwoods never led in the game.
It took a lot of guts for Whipsnakes to pull this one out, especially considering the stark lack of production from Rambo and Williams. They find themselves in the Championship Game once again, this time as the one seed, but they will certainly have their hands full against a suddenly dangerous Chaos squad that entered the playoffs as the seven seed. It all goes down Sunday at 12:30 PM ET on NBC.
Another year, another heartbreak for Redwoods. To even get as close as they did against this extremely talented Whipsnakes team is a testament to ‘Woods fortitude and Nat St. Laurent has a lot to be proud of for his team. Faceoffs were an issue for them all tournament, so it is likely the position they will want to address most come this offseason.