Whipsnakes LC Burns Chaos LC, Advance To Championship Game

 

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Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                              

Whipsnakes LC absolutely burned Chaos LC, exploding in the second quarter and never looking back. They took over on both ends of the field, pushed the issue in transition, and came out with the 15-7 win. 

It was a very defensive heavy battle early on in this contest, but both offenses slowly woke up. Chaos got the offense going with Dhane Smith and Connor Fields scoring two straight, giving Chaos an early 2-0 lead. Ben Reeves finally broke the ice for Whipsnakes, scoring in the final minute of the quarter after multiple possessions that saw Whipsnakes fail to create anything. 

Connor Fields found the back of the net once agin early in the second to help stretch the Chaos lead back out to two. The back-and-forth play ensued through the early part of the first with both sides taking shots at the other. Near the end of the second Whipsnakes found a heap of momentum that started with a Connor Kelly and grew into a four-goal run. Drew Snider, Joe Nardella, and Ben Reeves all scored for Whipsnakes during that run, as well. 

Leading 6-4 at the half, Whipsnakes continued their dominance, extending their run to nine goals to take a 14-4 lead into the fourth. In the third, Mike Chanechuck stepped up big with two two-point goals to really help push the lead even further. In addition, Whipsnakes dominated on the defensive end and in transition, disrupting Chaos any chance they had. 

In the fourth, Chaos finally got it together again but it was too late. Jake Froccaro scored twice and Dhane Smith found the back of the net once. Whipsnakes got the last goal of the game and walked away with the blowout win, advancing to the championship game in Philadelphia. Chaos will face Redwoods in the semifinals next week in New York. 

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Buczek Leads Atlas LC Over Chrome LC In Blowout Victory

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                  

In the first overall pick bracket, Atlas LC defeated Chrome LC 17-8. Atlas will move on to face Archers LC next week to decide who gets the first overall pick in the 2020 draft. 

This win for Atlas can be heavily credited to Connor Buczek who put on an absolute show, breaking the PLL single game scoring record with nine points and really leading the offense in a multitude of ways. In addition, their defense stood stout for most of the game and made it difficult for Chrome to get many settled possessions. 

Atlas got on things started fairly quickly with Connor Buczek letting one fly from beyond the arc early in the first. Chrome finally got the board midway through the first with Jordan Wolf finding the back of the cage. Eric Law answered for Atlas, starting a six-goal run that lasted through the early portion of the second. 

Atlas held a 5-1 lead heading into the second and continued to grow it. They were simply dominating on both ends, playing aggressive defense and really moving the ball efficiently on the offensive end. Chrome did find some momentum late in the quarter with Justin Guterding and Connor Farrell scoring just eight seconds apart, but they still trailed 10-4 heading into the half.

It was much more back-and-forth in the third as Atlas and Chrome went back and forth for most of the quarter. Paul Rabil and Eric Law scored back-to-back early on, pushing Atlas’ lead to 12-4. Chrome answered in a sizable way, going on a three-goal run to cut the lead to just five. 

A Connor Buczek two-pointer, his second of the game, late in the third pretty much put this one out of reach as Atlas led 15-7 heading into the fourth. While Chrome was able to score early on Atlas capped off the game with two straight goals from Kieran Mcardle and Connor Buczek to secure the win. 

Redwoods LC Defeat Archers LC, Advance To Semifinals

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                  

In a very back-and-forth battle, Redwoods LC was able to get an edge with their dominating defense and Greg Gurelian’s 59.2% win percentage at the faceoff dot to help push them to victory over Archers LC. 

Joey Sankey got things started for Archers early on in the first, jumpstarting a three-goal Archers run to open the game. Redwoods finally got things rolling with Kyle Harrison stinging the top left corner on an outside rip. Matt Kavanagh scored on the inside off a Jules Heningburg feed, cutting the Archers lead to 3-2. 

Redwoods continued their run early in the second, tying things at 3 with 11:20 in the second following a Jules Heningburg goal right in front of the cage. Archers answered pretty quickly, retaking the lead 4-3. After some back-and-forth defensive play midway through, both offense started to get hot as they went back-and-forth through the end of the half. 

While Archers held a slim 6-5 lead heading into the third both sides soon exploded on the offensive end, combining for 14 goals in the third quarter alone. Ryder Garnsey got Redwoods started off early in the third, but Will Manny answered right back for Archers to put them in the lead once again. 

That back-and-forth play continued for most of the third, but a Brent Adams two-pointer helped give Redwoods a major energy boost as they were able to pull away a bit, taking a 14-11 lead into the third. 

In the fourth both defenses really stepped up, limiting the opposing offense as much as possible. However, Redwoods were able to grab an upper hand with some amazing play from goalie Tim Troutner Jr. and hold on to their lead for the 16-12 victory. 

Redwoods will play the loser of Chaos LC and Whipsnakes LC next week for the chance to play the winner of the game in the PLL Championship. Archers will play the loser of Atlas LC and Chrome LC in the first-pick bracket. 

There were two injuries in this game as Tom Schreiber dislocated his shoulder at the end of the first half after taking a pretty big hot to his right shoulder and Archers defenseman Jackson Place went down with an apparent neck injury late in the game. Neither returned to the game. 

 

Three Keys For A Redwoods LC Championship Run

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                  

It’s playoff time and the chase for the PLL Crown gets underway this weekend with the first round going down in Columbus, Ohio. Chaos LC, Whipsnakes LC, Archers LC, and Redwoods LC are all in the championship bracket competing for the crown and the right to be called champions in the inaugural season of the league. 

Redwoods LC comes into the playoffs after finishing the regular season 5-5, annihilating Chrome in the final game of the season to help them secure a spot in the championship bracket. 

1. Defense Wins Championships

Led by Notre Dame alums, Garrett Epple, Matt Landis, Eddy Glazner, John Sexton, Jack Near, the Redwoods defense is one of the best in the business. This unit is big, aggressive, and has the ability to shut down any opposing offense, especially with Glazner in there acting as the mouth of this defense and the transition aspect that Larken Kemp and Brian Karalunas bring to the table.

Beyond the poles, Tyler Dunn, Brent Adams, Pat Harbeson, and multiple others are difference makers and frankly, Redwoods has the best SSDM unit in the league. When this defense puts all the puzzle pieces together from front to back and produces at the level they have been all season long this Redwoods team is tough to break.

2. Let The Offense Flow

The Redwoods offense has been progressing all season long, and they have really upgraded since trading for Jules Heningburg and acquiring Ryder Garnsey. This offense is deep, fiery, and anyone can take over at anytime. 

Redwoods needs to let this offense flow from the midfield through X or from X through the midfield. With threats like Heningburg and Matt Kavanagh at attack and Ryder Garnsey, Sergio Perkovic, and Sergio Salcido at midfield, Redwoods have the ability to initiate from more spots on the field than most teams. This offense needs to be able to just flow, do their thing, and not force bad shots. If they can do that then Redwoods has a chance to make a championship run. 

3. Solid goalie play

From his senior year at High Point to starting game one for Redwoods, Tim Troutner Jr. has been, arguably, one of the most consistent goalie on the planet in 2019. Despite allowing 17 goals in a week nine blowout loss against Whipsnakes, Troutner has been one of the best in the league. 

Redwoods will need Troutner to be on top of his game, shutting the door and helping to spark early offense. Solid and consistent goalie play usually translates to a calm and stout defense and can be a driving force behind wins, especially in the playoffs when the stakes are highest.

 

Three Keys For A Chaos LC Championship Run

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                  

It’s playoff time and the chase for the PLL Crown gets underway this weekend with the first round going down in Columbus, Ohio. Chaos LC, Whipsnakes LC, Archers LC, and Redwoods LC are all in the championship bracket competing for the crown and the right to be called champions in the inaugural season of the league. 

Chaos LC comes into the playoffs after finishing the regular season 7-3, claiming the title of regular season champions, and being the fan favorite for a good portion of the season. Here are just three keys that they will need to hone in on if they want to make a run in the playoffs and secure the inaugural PLL Crown. 

1. Play The Chaos Style

The unique style of play that the Chaos have is – well – chaotic. From their wild and effective transition sequences, fast paced 6 v 6 offensive sets, and ripping bombs from beyond the two-point arc, Chaos play fast and aggressive for a full sixty minutes. 

Coming into the playoffs they need to maintain that and not get away from what has been working all season long. Connor Field, Jarrod Neumann, Blaze Riorden, and Myles Jones, among others, all have to be just as efficient as they have been all season. When Chaos has gotten out of sync its not pretty, especially when their transition is lacking and starts to produce a heap of turnovers. 

2. Utilize Offensive Depth

Chaos has one of the most electrifying offenses in the league. With Connor Fields leading the charge at that ‘X’ attack spot, everything builds from him and their offense sometimes seems to go as he goes. When Fields gets shut down the ball can die in his stick which in turn can kill the entire offense. 

Coming into the playoffs they need to stretch out their offense and really use all the tools in the shed, not just that attack unit of Connor Fields, Miles Thompson, and Josh Byrne. Chaos has to utilize the dodging and feeding ability of Myles Jones, Jake Froccaro and others at the midfield position to utilize depth, share the sugar, and ultimately stretch the opposing defense and open up lanes inside. 

3. Control Possession

While having an edge in the possession game is a plus for any team, Chaos really needs to hone in on this if they want any shot at even sniffing the PLL Crown. Thomas Kelly isn’t the highest ranked faceoff man in the league statistically, going 51.9% at the dot in the regular season, but he has been able to dominate games at times to give Chaos plenty of extra possessions. 

If Kelly isn’t taking over, Chaos has a very strong defensive unit with Jack Rowlett, Brodie Merrill, and Jarrod Neumann leading the charge. Blaze Riorden can make big stops in cage which can neutralize poor faceoff play. In addition, having an insane SSDM like Mark Glicini who routinely gives up his body to block shots and does all the dirty work is very useful, as well. No matter who is making the noise in terms of defense, Chaos has to be able to get possession to work their offense like they have all season. 

Three Keys For An Archers LC Championship Run

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                                  

It’s playoff time and the chase for the PLL Crown gets underway this weekend with the first round going down in Columbus, Ohio. Chaos LC, Whipsnakes LC, Archers LC, and Redwoods LC are all in the championship bracket competing for the crown and the right to be called champions in the inaugural season of the league. 

Archers LC comes into the playoffs after finishing the regular season 5-5, ending the season with an 11-8 win over the Whipsnakes LC to help push them into a playoff spot. Here are just three keys that they will need to hone in on if they want to make a run in the playoffs and secure the inaugural PLL Crown. 

1. Control The Pace

When Archers control the pace, their offense gets firing and runs like a well-oiled machine from the midfield through the attack. While Archers primary faceoff man Stephen Kelly went 93-192 for 48.4%, the worst faceoff percentage among players who have taken at least 100 draws, it will be crucial for them to be able to control the pace in any way they can in able to even win this first game against Redwoods LC.

Whether it’s creating pace from the defensive end, Kelly getting hot at the dot, or simply playing off the opposing team’s mistakes, Archers needs to control the pace to be able and even sniff the Crown. 

2. Offensive Midfield Production 

Tom Schreiber is the top-scoring midfielder in the league, tallying 37 points (17G/18A) during the regular season. Schreiber has been leading the charge from the midfield, but Archers will need much more midfield production than just Schreiber if they want to make a playoff run. The option of relying solely on their attack for offensive production hasn’t shown to be that effective by any means this season. 

While Ben McIntosh has shown flashes of greatness this season with his spectacular array of shooting, he will need to step up even more in the playoffs and may need to become more of a feeder in some instances, which he has certainly proved he can do. Also, Archers have an array of attackmen that can play and produce from up top at the midfield which helps them greatly, but their production from the midfield certainly needs to be much greater. 

3. Consistent Defense

Archers have the best defense in the league, statistically, only allowing an average of 10.5 goals per game. Their production on that end of the field will need to stay consistent entering the playoffs, especially with them facing a fiery Redwoods offense in round one. 

From the goalie duo of Drew Adams and Adam Ghitleman through the three-headed monsters in front of the cage with Scott Ratliff, Jackson Place, and Matt McMahon the Archers needs consistency. If they are able to lock down the opposing offense from front to back they have a great chance of going on a run in the playoffs. One crucial piece of their defensive look in the playoffs has to be SSDM’s Dominique Alexander and Mark McNeil. When even just one of those guys is on his game and hustling this Archers team seems to run much more effectively from front to back and especially in transition. 

 

PLL Season Award Nominees Announced

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse                                                                                                                

The PLL has announced the nominees for all of their season awards. The awards include, Rookie of The Year, Jim Brown MVP Award, Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of The Year, Brodie Merrill Long Stick Midfielder of The Year, George Boiardi SSDM Hard Hat Award, Oren Lyons Goalie of The Year, Paul Cantabene Faceoff Man of The Year, Gait Brothers Midfielder of The Year, Eamon McEneaney Attackman of The Year, and Dick Edell Coach of The Year, Brendan Looney Leadership Award, Jimmy Regan Teammate Award, Welles Crowther Humanitarian Award, Dave Huntley Sportsmanship Award. 

Rookie of The Year

Tim Troutner, G, Redwoods LC

Connor Farrell, FO, Chrome LC

Jack Rowlett, D, Chaos LC

Ryder Garnsey, A, Redwoods LC

Jim Brown MVP 

Connor Fields, A, Chaos LC

Matt Rambo, A, Whipsnakes LC

Tom Scheiber, M, Archers LC

Dave Pietramala Defensive Player of The Year

Garrett Epple, D, Redwoods LC

Jarrod Neumann, D, Chaos LC

Tucker Durkin, D, Atlas LC

Brodie Merrill Long Stick Midfielder of The Year

Scott Ratliff, LSM, Archers LC

Michael Ehrhardt, LSM, Whipsnakes LC

George Boiardi SSDM Hard Hat Award

Dominique Alexander, SSDM, Archers LC

Mark Glicini, SSDM, Chaos LC

Ty Warner, SSDM, Whipsnakes LC

Oren Lyons Goalie of The Year

Blaze Riorden, G, Chaos LC

Kyle Bernlohr, G, Whipsnakes LC

Jack Concannon, G, Atlas LC

Paul Cantabene Faceoff Man of The Year

Joe Nardella, FO, Whipsnakes LC

Trevor Baptiste, FO, Atlas LC

Gait Brothers Midfielder of The Year

Jake Froccaro, M, Chaos LC

Ned Crotty, M, Chrome LC

Tom Schreiber, M, Archers LC

Eamon McEneaney Attackman of The Year

Connor Fields, A, Chaos LC

Matt Rambo, A, Whipsnakes LC

Marcus Holman, A, Archers LC

Dick Edell Coach of The Year

Andy Towers, Chaos LC

Jim Stagnitta, Whipsnakes LC

Chris Bates, Archers LC

Brendan Looney Leadership Award

Brodie Merrill, LSM/D, Chaos LC

John Galloway, G, Chrome LC

Kyle Harrison, M, Redwoods LC

Jimmy Regan Teammate Award

Adam Ghitleman, G, Archers LC

Mark Glicini, SSDM, Chaos LC

John Ranagan, M, Chrome LC

Welles Crowther Humanitarian Award

Scott Ratliff, LSM, Archers LC

Justin Guterding, A, Chrome LC

Eric Law, A, Atlas LC

Dave Huntley Sportsmanship Award

Brodie Merrill, LSM/D, Chaos LC

Connor Farrell, FO, Chrome LC

Joey Sankey, A, Archers LC

 

 

Why The Brett Queener Situation Is Actually Good For The Game

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                              

“We The Players.” That’s the slogan that the PLL has put at the forefront of their message since the league’s announcement in October of 2018. It’s a message that many players in the league have taken to heart, and while it can mean very different things to different people, it is hard to argue that Chrome LC goalie Brett Queener has not fully exemplified that slogan. 

Over the past week, the story that has dominated the pro lacrosse news cycle has been the hit that Chrome LC goalie Brett Queener laid on Redwoods LC attackman Jules Heningburg in Redwoods 18-7 defeat of Chrome in Albany, as well as the subsequent punishment that Queener received. 

After the hit, there was a scrum and multiple penalties were given out, including eight minutes of worth directed towards Queener. Heningburg was knocked out of the game with a concussion, but it looks like he will be good to return for the playoffs this weekend. 

On Tuesday after Sunday’s game, Queener was handed a one-game suspension and a fine by the league. A punishment that Queener would decide to appeal, as he announced on his Instagram the following the day.

In that post, Queener said, “I am disappointed in the PLL decision to suspend me for 1 game. I will be appeal this decision. I have watched the video of the play and realize the optics of it. If you have ever played professional sports then you understand how fast things happen on the field. This was a bang-bang play and I made a mistake. It was an accidental high hit and nothing more than that. My shaft initially hit his [Jules Heningburg] shoulder and slid up into his neck. My stepping over him after the play, was all due to balance and I was picking up my broken stick. I did not taunt or say anything to Jules at that moment.”

While many fans looked at this statement and brushed it off a case of someone getting their feelings hurt out pouting, Queener has a legit argument that makes sense and if you look at the tape you can see it. Now that does that mean he should be cleared of any punishment? No, but that’s ultimately up to the PLL. 

Now where Queener is one-hundred in the right during this situation is, in fact, this appeal. While appeals happen all the time in the NLL because of the representation players have with the PLPA, appealing any punishment is unprecedented in pro field lacrosse. But what’s also unprecedented here is the PLL handing down any sort of discipline. In fact, the suspension given to Queener is the first we’ve seen and in the opinion of many fans, that should not be the case at all.

Queener is, in fact, changing the game with this decision, and all parties and the game of lacrosse will come out better because of it. This appeal makes the PLL take a step back and not only look at Queener’s suspension but also what they have missed on the officiating side and how it can be improved to help better the league moving forward. 

Nobody ever expects officiating or decisions like this to be near as consistent as they should be, and that’s especially true in a league’s first year. There are certainly changes and improvements to be made for 2020, and Queener may have just jumpstarted the process or at least the PLL’s thinking with this appeal. 

Also, while Queener’s appeal brings light to otherwise grey areas of the PLL’s officiating and discipline process, it also makes pro field lacrosse feel more professional than ever. As previously mentioned, the NLL has appeals all the time just like the NFL, NBA, and NHL. This process being brought to the pro field game in the PLL is fantastic for the continued professionalization of the pro field game, and adds similar conversation to what you hear almost daily in other pro sports. 

In essence, the “crying” that many think Queener is doing about this whole situation actually exemplifies the PLL’s “We the players” slogan perfectly. Just like every other player, Queener has a voice, he is using it, and change will come one way or another because of it.

Brett Queener To Appeal One-Game Suspension From PLL

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Chrome LC goalie Brett Queener will appeal the PLL’s decision to suspend him for one-game following the incident that took place in Chrome’s game against Redwoods LC on Saturday. 

In an Instagram post, Queener said, “I am disappointed in the PLL decision to suspend me for 1 game. I will be appeal this decision. I have watched the video of the play and realize the optics of it. If you have ever played professional sports then you understand how fast things happen on the field. This was a bang-bang play and I made a mistake. It was an accidental high hit and nothing more than that. My shaft initially hit his [Jules Heningburg] shoulder and slid up into his neck. My stepping over him after the play, was all due to balance and I was picking up my broken stick. I did not taunt or say anything to Jules at that moment.”

The PLL announced on Tuesday that they would be handing Queener a one-game suspension and a fine for what they called “dangerous, unsportsmanlike behavior,” according to the league’s statement via Twitter. 

In Saturday’s game, Queener was given eight total minutes of penalties following the egregious hit that knocked Heningburg out of the game with a concussion and the brawl that ensued between the two clubs. Queener did go back in and finished the game after serving his penalty minutes. 

Redwoods went on to blowout Chrome 18-7 in Saturday’s contest, securing a spot in the playoffs. Chrome finished the regular season last in the standings and will be playing for the first overall draft pick in 2020 along with Atlas LC.

PLL Suspends And Fines Chrome LC Goalie Brett Queener

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Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League                                                                                      

The Premier Lacrosse League has announced that Chrome LC goalie Brett Queener has been suspended and fined by the league following the hit that he laid on Redwoods LC attackman Jules Heningburg during Saturday’s game. 

The league put out the following statement via Twitter, “The PLL has determined that the the incident involving Chrome LC goalie Brett Queener which occurred during Sunday’s game against Redwoods LC amounted to dangerous, unsportsmanlike behavior. Queener has been suspended for one game and issued a fine by the League.”

In Saturday’s game, Brett Queener came out of the crease and delivered an egregious hit on Heningburg as he drove from behind the cage. The hit was extremely high, left Queener’s stick broken in half, and knocked Heningburg out of the game with a concussion.

A brawl between the two clubs followed the hit, and saw Queener shove and tackle multiple Redwoods players. Penalties were handed out on both sides, including eight minutes of penalties against Queener. 

Redwoods went on to blowout Chrome 18-7, securing a spot in the playoffs. Chrome finished the regular season last in the standings and will be playing for the first overall draft pick in 2020 along with Atlas LC.