(Photo Courtesy of PLL)
Behind a 10-0 run late in the game, Whipsnakes were able to force the comeback and secure their second consecutive PLL championship.
Zed Williams led Whipsnakes with six goals and Matt Rambo had four points (1G/3A). Joe Nardella went 12-for-19 (63%) at the faceoff dot. Kyle Bernlohr made 16 saves with a 63% clip.
Blaze Riorden made 14 saves with a 54% save percentage and Josh Byrne scored tow goals for Chaos.
Whipsnakes got out to a early 2-0 lead following a long one-pointer from Mike Chanenchuk and an inside finish from Zed Willams off a feed from John Haus. That would be all she wrote for the Whipsnakes in the first half, as Chaos seemed to take over late in the first quarter and held the majority of the momentum through the remainder of the first half of play.
Josh Byrne took it himself, scoring a highlight reel goal with the defense draped all over him to put Chaos on the board. Austin Staats and Miles Thompson scored the final two goals of the first, giving Chaos their first lead, 3-2, of the game. In the second, Josh Byrne scored his second of the day in transition to push their lead out to 4-2 heading into the half.
Despite Joe Nardella dominating the dot (4-for-5) in the first half, Whipsnakes offense was stale for the entire second quarter. They had some opportunities, including a power play chance, but bad shot selection, mistakes in transition, and the play of Blaze Riorden hindered their offense greatly and allowed Chaos to stay on top heading into the second half.
While Chaos continued to stretch their lead in the third, Brad Smith ended the Whipsnakes’ 29-minute scoring drought, cutting the Chaos lead to 6-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Smith’s goal would be the first of a nine-goal run to help put Whipsnakes in front and secure the win.
An immense effort from Zed Williams, who scored five goals in the fourth quarter alone, helped spark the Whipsnakes comeback. They seemingly caught fire and were able to go from down by four to leading by three in just a matter of minutes. From that point on, Whipsnakes held all the energy and were able to ride out the rest of the game, taking down Chaos, 12-6, to claim their second consecutive PLL Championship.