“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports
Chaos LC squared off against Cannons LC in a crucial Week 5 PLL matchup in Minneapolis on Saturday. Chaos, who rank last in the PLL in both ground balls and turnovers, were looking for their first win of the season before heading into the All-Star break. Cannons were also in the bottom half of the standings, but could gain ground on the leaders with a win.
Cannons started Nick Marrocco in net, opposite Blaze Riorden for Chaos. Jerry Ragonese was a last-minute addition to the Chaos roster to take faceoffs in the absence of Thomas Kelly. In an exciting back-and-forth battle, Chaos emerged with a 13-11 victory. Both teams are now in a three-way tie with Redwoods at 1-4 midway through the regular season.
Pound For Pound
Kyle Jackson (3g) opened the scoring for Chaos at 2:47. Ryan Drenner (4g) equalized for Cannons at 6:14, but Chaos went on a four-goal run to end the first quarter. Josh Byrne (3g, 1a) struck twice in succession (8:04; 8:18). Chris Cloutier (2g), returning to the lineup from the PUP list, beat Marrocco at 9:41, followed by Ragonese extending the Chaos lead to 5-1 four seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. However, Ragonese would exit the game a short time later with an injury.
Drenner’s second (0:36 second quarter) and Asher Nolting (1:22) ended the Chaos run and cut the deficit to 5-3. The teams would then trade the next six scores leading up to halftime. Chaos would get markers form Chase Fraser (2:00), Cloutier’s second (5:32), and Jackson’s second (7:28). Cannons would counter with Bubba Fairman (2:17), Adam Charalambides (2g; 6:01), and Lyle Thompson (3g; 9:40) to make it an 8-6 Chaos lead entering halftime.
Chaos Hold Off Late Rally
The goal trading continued until late in the third quarter. Defenseman Jack Rowlett, standing in for Ragonese, took the opening draw of the second half and scored six seconds in, pushing the Chaos lead back to three. Charalambides (2:01) countered with his second of the game, both of which were from narrow angles. Jackson (3:16) notched his hat trick, then Thompson responded with a dunk from behind the net (3:42). CJ Costabile scored for Chaos 10 seconds later. Thompson tallied his hat trick at 7:25, followed by Drenner’s hat trick goal 30 seconds later, breaking the alternating scoring trend. After three quarters, Chaos held a slim 11-10 lead over Cannons.
Drenner’s fourth goal less than a minute into the final frame (0:56) tied the game. With Stephen Kelly dominating at the faceoff dot, it seemed as though the Cannons would be sending Chaos into the All-Star break winless. But Riorden (20 saves) would shut the door on a Cannons comeback. Byrne’s hat trick goal (3:20) and an insurance goal from Dhane Smith (7:25) would prove to the be the difference in the first win for Chaos this season.
Other Stats of Note
- Stephen Kelly (Cannons): 11 for 20 on faceoffs, 5 ground balls
- Marrocco (Cannons): 10 saves
- Power Play: Chaos 0 for 1; Cannons 0 for 2
- Total Shots: Chaos 33, Cannons 51
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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.