In what was the most insane game of the year, Whipsnakes LC was able to overcome a huge second half Redwoods LC comeback to force overtime and win the game to claim the title of PLL Champions for the first time in league history.
Matt Rambo led the way for Whipsnakes with six points (3G/3A), including the game-tying and game-winning goals. In addition, John Haus had four points (3G/1A). Kyle Bernlohr made 16 saves in cage for 61.5 save percentage and Joe Nardella went 11-for-23 at the faceoff dot.
Redwoods were led by Matt Kavnagh with four points (2G/2A) and Ryder Garnsey with three points (2G/1A). Brent Adams also recorded three points (1G/2A) in the game. Tim Troutner made 12 saves with a 52.1 save percentage and Greg Gurenlian 13-for-23 at the faceoff dot.
While Matt Kavanagh and Matt Rambo got Redwoods and Whipsnakes on the board fairly quickly to start the game, the majority of the first quarter was a very heavy defensive battle. Both goalies really stepped up and that energy seemed to be contagious as we saw hustle play after hustle play in the middle of the field and some very aggressive defense on both ends.
In the second quarter, Redwoods switched a short stick onto league MVP Matt Rambo which turned him into more of feeder, and he helped burn the Redwoods defense as he was hitting guys all over the field. In addition, Whipsnakes goalie Kyle Bernlohr had one his best quarters this season, making clean saves to help jumpstart their deadly transition offense.
Whipsnakes scored four straight in the second quarter as John Haus, Drew Snider, Jay Carlson, and Jo LoCasio all found the back of the net to push their lead out to 5- late in the second.
Redwoods finally got a little more settled in near the end of the quarter and took a lot of energy into the half after Brent Adams buzzer beater shot from midfield deflected off of Wes Berg into the goal, cutting the Whipsnakes lead to 5-2 heading into the half.
The third quarter saw much of the same as the first two with Whipsnakes continuing to get hot and dominating on both ends of the field. Two straight from John Haus and a two-pointer from Mike Chanechuck helped push the Whipsnakes lead to 9-3, giving them a ton of momentum.
While Whipsnakes seemed to be running away with it Redwoods stormed back in the final minute of the third. A three-goal run that started with a diving goal from Jack Near and ended with a Sergio Perkovic two-point buzzer beater pulled Redwoods within three, cutting the Whipsnakes lead to 9-6 heading into the third.
Matt Kavanagh continued the Redwoods run early in the third before Connor Kelly finally answered for Whipsnakes. Redwoods jumped into the drivers seat once again, going on a four-goal run that ended with Joe Walters giving them the 11-10 lead with just over a minute left in the game.
PLL MVP and Attackman of The Year Matt Rambo showed up at the right at the right time, scoring the game-tying goal with 21 seconds left in the game to force overtime. Rambo then got topside and put away the game-winning goal just a few seconds into the overtime period to secure the win and claim the title for Whipsnakes.