Wolf, Farrell Get “Chromeback” Started in Style
By Doug Greenberg | Jul 25, 2020
Don’t call it a "Chromeback" indeed.
What started as a team motto coming into the 2020 PLL Championship Series ended up becoming an omen of how Chrome’s first game would go, as it would erase a four-goal deficit to defeat Chaos 13-9 on Saturday night in Utah.
Chaos boasted the best transition offense in the PLL last season -- notching 4.5 transition goals per game, the most in the league -- and it was on display early in this one, as Patrick Resch got on the board first on the break from Troy Reh and Jarrod Neumann. The transition offense wasn’t the only part of Chaos’ game that came out hot, as the recently acquired Sergio Salcido tallied the second goal and took several shots throughout the first half.
But Chrome, and particularly Jordan Wolf, would not be intimidated. The veteran attackman scored a trio of goals in the first quarter, including a beautiful crease dive score after beating Neumann in the alley. The score was tied at four goals apiece after one quarter.
From there it became a game of runs. Andy Towers must have given his team one of his signature pep talks before the second quarter because that period belonged all to Chaos. Blaze Riorden, after a disappointing first quarter, was lights out in the second, keeping Chrome off the scoreboard. At the other end, it was the Connor Fields Show: the prolific attackman scored a phenomenal behind-the-back goal and followed it up with a tremendous behind-the-back assist to Curtis Dickson for Chaos’ eighth goal.
But if Towers gave a scary talk between quarters, Tim Soudan’s halftime speech must have been downright terrifying. Whatever he said, it must have worked because Chrome was firing on all cylinders, on all parts of the field in the second half. Matt Gaudet opened the second half’s scoring with his first career goal and regaled the viewers at home with his elite chirping for the rest of the game.
Fields managed another behind-the-back goal for Chaos but that was the last gasp of breath his team would get. Connor Farrell was dominant at the stripe, winning 13 faceoffs in a row from the end of the first half and into the second. This set Chrome up with premium possessions that allowed Chrome to cash in. During the squad’s 8-0 run to end the game, Justin Guterding and John Ranagan, who had both been held off the scoreboard to this point, each contributed two goals.
Chrome’s defense was stifling in the second half as well. Defenseman Michael Manley recorded two caused turnovers and four ground balls, while goalie John Galloway made 12 saves on his way to a 57 percent save rate. The inspiring second half performance gave Chrome a huge victory.
This was obviously a massive win for a team that finished last in the league season and wanted to make people believe it could be a contender. Aside from a poor second quarter, Chrome played well in all phases of the game and put the league on notice that they are for real. They’ll have a chance to back up the strong performance Tuesday against Redwoods.
For Chaos, this was certainly a setback, but not all is lost for this team. Fields and the attack looked deadly as ever, and now it’s just a matter of putting it all together for four whole quarters. They’ll have the chance to prove they can do just that Monday against Redwoods.