Photo courtesy of the Premier Lacrosse League
For the second straight night the PLL played into the one o’clock hour on the east coast, and for the second straight night it came down to OT. It was the Archers who came away victorious and stayed undefeated as Ryan Ambler scored the game-winning goal in overtime to top the Chrome 13-12.
A quick start for the Archers thanks to Christian Mazzone was quickly delayed as a power surge shut down Zions Bank Stadium for nearly two hours before play was able to resume. With no power in the stadium both teams headed to the locker room to pass the time.
Shortly after play resumed the Archers offense got back on track thanks to Will Manny, taking a 2-0 lead. The Chrome got on the board to make it 2-1, but the high powered Archers offense got rolling. Manny completed a hat trick in the first half while four other players found the back of the net as the Archers looked to be riding high into halftime, up 8-3. Rookie Grant Ament was the first half catalyst for the Archers, leading the way with five points (1 G, 4 A).
In addition to Ament the other first half key for the Archers came at the stripe, where Stephen Kelly and Brendan Fowler combined to win 90% of draws.
But in the second half the Chrome let it be known they weren’t going away quietly.
Trailing big in the third the Duke connection of Justin Guterding and Jordan Wolf got the momentum swinging away from the Archers, starting a #ChromeBack. Wolf sparked a third quarter run that saw the Chrome outscoring the Archers 6-1.
The Chrome slowly chipped away at the Archer lead until late in the quarter when everyone’s favorite rookie pest, Matt Gaudet, scored two goals in quick succession, to tie the game at 9-9.
Just moments into the fourth quarter Christian Mazzone gave the Archers the lead back, taking a pass from Marcus Holman before crashing right to the net. But the #ChromeBack wasn’t dying just because of a single goal. Jordan MacIntosh answered back with a long bouncer to tie things back up at 10-10. The pinball didn’t stop bouncing back and forth though as the teams continued to swap goals.
The Chrome took their first lead of the night midway through the final quarter as Guterding put the team in white up 12-11. With time winding down a hard Chrome ride caused a few turnovers and allowed them to burn off some clock.
Down by one the Archers got possession with 24.6 seconds left in regulation and an opportunity to give us our second overtime game of the Championship Series. With the ball in the crosse of Tom Schreiber, the midfielder cut across the middle of the field before ripping a high to low shot past John Galloway and tying the game at 12-12.
A faceoff win by Stephen Kelly gave the Archers possession to start the overtime, and one possession was all they would need. Late in the shot clock Grant Ament slipped an underhand pass across to Ryan Ambler near the net. Ambler collected the pass and put a shot past Galloway into the top corner as the shot clock expired giving the Archers the 13-12 victory.
The Two-Headed Monster
The two-headed monster of Bones Kelly and Brendan Fowler dominated at the stripe for the Archers, winning 74% of faceoffs through regulation and the only faceoff in overtime. Kelly, who won the only faceoff of overtime, finished the night 10-of-15, while Fowler finished 10-of-12.
Tying Records as a Rookie
Grant Ament’s assist on the Ryan Ambler’s overtime game-winner was his fifth of the game, tying a PLL record for assists in a game. Ament joined teammate Tom Schreiber as the only players to have five assists in a single game in PLL History.
PLL Betting Breakdown
The over (21.5) hit! Finally. If you waited until after the first eight games (that all hit the under) to bet the under, well luck was not on your side. Yet, if you bet the over, satisfaction was finally yours.
In addition to the over hitting, the Chrome covered the 1.5-point spread with their 13-12 overtime loss. Chrome LC has covered in all of their 3 games up until this point, while Archers (who have been favorites in every game so far), have only covered once.
The Archers will take on the Whipsnakes on Sunday at 12pm ET on what could potentially determine who claims the top seed and first round bye in the playoffs. Chrome get right back to work in their final game with a matchup against the winless Waterdogs at 9:30pm ET on Friday.