The Chaos and Redwoods entered Wednesday night’s contest looking for a win, and it took 52 minutes before a team came out on top. The Sergio Salcido-Myles Jones revenge match got off to a slow start, with the first goal finally coming from Josh Byrne at 3:46 in the first quarter during a power play. Chaos would take a 3-1 lead into the half thanks to a goal and incredible assist from Curtis Dickson. For sports bettors, it was pretty clear that it was going to be another night to have taken the under (23.5).
In the second half, the Redwoods showed some life after Myles Jones (1 goal, 2 assists) got on the board and Sergio Perkovic followed with his third two-pointer in two days.
Things finally started to heat up in what would become the PLL’s lowest scoring game in history when Greg Puskuldjian found Brendan Gleason six seconds into the fourth quarter and Jake Froccaro answered for the Chaos with a goal of his own 30 seconds later.
The Redwoods would go up by two goals with 2:29 left in the game and seemingly put it out of reach, but Curtis Dickson found an open Troy Reh for a step down two-bomb to tie it 7-7 with 1:27 left and eventually send it to overtime.
Redwoods Defense Dominates Despite Epple’s Absence
The story of the game was how well Eddy Glazener guarded Connor Fields, who was held to just one point. The Redwoods defense neutralized the Chaos’s quarterback on offense and it quickly became apparent how much this offense runs through Fields. Hugh Crance stepped into his role on close defense with ease and the Woods got the job done despite Garrett Epple being out due to suspension.
Tim Troutner also played well between the pipes, making 15 saves including a critical one on Dickson on the door step in overtime. The Woods would score on the ensuing possession and earn their first win.
Ryder Garnsey Delivers Game Winner
Ryder Garnsey had a quiet PLL Championship Series up until Wednesday’s contest, but fans started to see prime Ryder against the Chaos. He appeared more patient during 6-on-6 sets and effectively ran the offense from X. He would notch a goal on a great two-man game with Jack Near in the third and eventually give the Redwoods the win with the game winner in overtime.
The only thing lacking was a signature celly following Garnsey’s game-winning goal. Maybe Ryder is saving his overtime theatrics for a potential playoff game-winner. All we know is when the fish flop returns, we’ll be ready.
Chaos Sloppy on Both Ends
The Chaos’ struggles stemmed predominately from two things: unforced turnovers and penalties. Coach Towers’ squad threw away 20 possessions, 12 which were not caused by the Redwoods. They also committed six penalties, though held the Woods to just two goals on the power play. Even when preventing power play goals, being down a man can kill any momentum you may have and is more time without the ball on your offensive end. If this Chaos defense wants to go far, they’re going to need to be much more disciplined and limit the amount of shots Blaze Riorden sees throughout the game.
On the offensive end, the Chaos have the talent, but seem to force the ball at inopportune times. There was also a lot of standing around above the cage while Connor Fields isolated from behind or from the wing. This offense is way too talented to be only putting up an average of eight goals per game and will need to regroup before their games against Whipsnakes and Waterdogs.
Blaze Riroden Sets Save Record
Despite what Matt Gaudet would lead you to believe, Blaze Riorden does not suck; not at all. Riorden was the lone bright spot on defense, making a PLL record 23 saves in the loss. In just two games, it’s become clear that the 2019 Goaltender of the Year is going to see a lot of shots once again this season. At 23 saves and a 77.6 save %, Riorden did everything he could to set his team up for a win. Yet, as mentioned earlier, the offense’s careless turnovers prevented them from coming away with the win. If the Chaos want to improve, the key will be efficiency, both on offense and defense.
PLL Betting Breakdown
If you haven’t been betting the under by now, then we don’t know what else to tell you. The seventh game in the PLL Championship Series once again failed to reach the goal mark that Vegas set (23.5) and this game wasn’t even close. The over/under will likely begin to fall as this trend continues, but for now if the O/U is set for anything higher than 24.5, it’s probably a safe bet to hit the under.
As for the point spread, Chaos covered at +1.5 despite losing in overtime. The point spread of recent has been the hardest to predict, with four of the seven games being decided by just one goal. It’s just further proof of the parity that exists in the league.
Redwoods LC will look to get to .500 with their final game against Atlas LC on Saturday, August 1 at 4pm on NBC. The Chaos are seeking their first win and will have an opportunity to earn it against the Whipsnakes on Friday, July 31 at 7pm ET on NBCSN.