The Archers LC and Atlas LC game on Monday night ended up being the only game PLL fans would get due to weather postponing the Redwoods-Chaos game that was set to be played beforehand.
Fans were rewarded for their patience as they watched the top two picks in this year’s college draft, Grant Ament and Bryan Costabile, trade blows throughout the game which ended in an 11-10 Archers victory.
While Ament and the Archers had the last laugh, it was the Atlas offense that came out of the gates ahead. After an Archers goal from Tom Schreiber, the Atlas offense quickly responded with four goals of their own, before Josh Currier closed out out the first quarter with a tight goal on the crease.
The Rookies Deliver
From that point on, the explosive Archers offense took care of the rest. The Archers reeled off a 6-1 run that was led by Grant Ament, who finished the game with a team-high four points including three goals.
The Atlas didn’t go down without a fight though. While Ament, the first pick in the 2020 college draft, dazzled from behind the net, Bryan Costabile, the second pick, put on a show on both sides of the field.
Costabile recorded a game-high five points, including a two-point goal in the first quarter. Costabile proved difficult to stop for the Archers defense scoring four goals from every range and side of the field. Costabile also impressed on the defensive end, repeatedly matching up with the Archers’ top dodging threats and turning them away.
The highlight of the night defensively for Costabile was his strip of Tom Schreiber that led to an Atlas advantage going the other way.
New Faces Get Involved
In addition to the two rookies, both teams saw a lot of new faces get involved. Atlas fans were also excited to see Romar Dennis score his first goal in an Atlas uniform a step-down rocket from just inside the two-point arc. Josh Currier finished two goals including a beautiful behind-the-back late in the game for Archers LC. Christian Mazzone also had two goals for Archers and his first was as gritty as it gets, scooping up a rebound and scoring one-handed with a defender draped on him.
Archers Defense Neutralizes Rob Pannell
Despite a bunch of highlight goals, the untold story of the game was just how well Eli Gobrecht covered Rob Pannell. Pannell finished with three points, but didn’t earn his first goal until 35 seconds left in the game. Defensive coordinator Tony Resch and the Archers defense as a whole deserve a ton of credit, but Gobrecht was the unsung hero for effectively neutralizing Pannell for most of the game. Solid defense and goalie play down the stretch sealed the game for the Archers, with their goalie tandem of Adam Ghitelman and Drew Adams finishing with 13 saves on 22 shots on goal.
PLL Betting Breakdown
The Archers may have won the game, but sports bettors who bet on the Archers were left reeling at the end. The opening line had the Atlas at 1.5-point underdogs (and later shifted to 2.5-point underdogs before the start of the game). No matter when you placed your bet, if you picked the Archers to cover, you were left fuming. In what could be considered the first bad beat of the 2020 PLL Championship Series, Rob Pannell helped Atlas cover the spread with a late 35-second goal to pull the Bulls with in a goal.
Note: Betting information gathered from DraftKings Sportsbook as of July 27 at 9pm ET.
Archers will look to take down the Waterdogs on Tuesday night at 7pm ET on NBCSN, followed by a matchup between Redwoods LC and Chrome LC at 9:30pm ET. The Atlas will return to action Thursday, July 30 at 7pm ET with a rivalry game with Whipsnakes LC.