“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
Chrome LC hosted Waterdogs LC in the first of four Week 3 PLL matches at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium on Friday night. Chrome was looking to stay undefeated, after a tight win against Archers in Week 1 and a total dismantling of Redwoods in Week 2. A win this week would also top their win total from the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, Waterdogs were looking to get in the win column for the first time this season, but would have to do so without some key players. Faceoff wizard Jake Withers, attackman Michael Sowers, midfielder Steven DeNapoli, and defenseman Chris Sabia were all out with injuries, while goaltender Dillon Ward is still vying for the NLL Cup with the Colorado Mammoth. Despite the missing players, Waterdogs overcame a 10-6 deficit to briefly lead 14-11 in the fourth quarter.
However, Chrome scored six unanswered goals in the final six and a half minutes to come away with a 17-14 triumph. The win moves Chrome to 3-0, ensuring they will share first place with the winner of the Atlas-Whipsnakes contest this weekend. Waterdogs are now 0-3 on the season, and will share the PLL basement with the loser of Saturday’s Redwoods-Chaos matchup.
Chrome Find Mojo Early
Chrome opened up a 2-0 lead on goals by Logan Wisnauskas (3:13) and Jordan MacIntosh (4:32; power play). Waterdogs then went on a three-goal run, with Ryan Brown netting his first (5:32) and second (6:01) of the night, followed by Ethan Walker (7:47). Chrome would retake the lead, courtesy of Justin Anderson (8:56) and Brendan Nichtern (12:00) firing a buzzer-beater past Waterdogs netminder Matt DeLuca.
Waterdogs would go up 5-4 in the second quarter after a score by Jack Hannah (2:36) and Brown’s hat trick goal (4:32). Chrome would respond with a two-goal run of their own. Dylan Molloy (6:18) and Anderson’s second goal (9:16). Kieran McArdle (10:02) tied the game at 6 before Wisnauskas scored a controversial power play goal with less than a minute remaining (11:04) to put Chrome up 7-6 at the half.
The initial call on the field was no goal. Video replays seemed to indicate the call was correct, with DeLuca appearing to move the netting trying to close off the near post. The officials conducted a surprisingly brief video review before concluding that the ball caused the net to move.
Nichtern would strike twice for Chrome (1:11; 1:56) to open the second half, and the hat trick goal for Wisnauskas (4:36) would push the lead to 10-6. Waterdogs would rally, with Brown netting a 2-point goal for his fourth of the evening at 6:46 to cut the deficit to two. McArdle’s second goal (10:19), followed by Zach Currier (10:42) and Ryan Conrad (11:09), all in the span of 50 seconds, put Waterdogs back up 11-10 entering the final quarter.
Anderson’s hat trick goal (1:38) tied the game again, before Waterdogs went on another run. McArdle (3:00) notched his hat trick, then Walker’s second (3:17) pushed the lead to two. Two minutes later (5:17), Brown’s fifth of the game gave Waterdogs their biggest lead, 14-11. Unfortunately, it would not last long, as Chrome reeled off the final six goals to close the game, helped by goaltender Sean Sconone (12 saves).
Faceoff specialist Connor Farrell would score nine seconds later on the ensuing faceoff to make it a two-goal game. Anderson followed with his fourth (5:58) and fifth (6:17) to tie the game. Nichtern’s fourth of the game (7:09) would give Chrome the lead for good. Defenseman Mike Manley would convert on a give-and-go (9:32), and Wisnauskas would tally his fourth of the night (10:14) before the final buzzer. Waterdogs play Chaos in Week 4, while Chrome hosts Cannons.
- Ryan Brown (Waterdogs): 5g, one 2-point goal
- Kieran McArdle (Waterdogs): 3g, 4a
- Justin Anderson (Chrome): 5g
- Logan Wisnauskas/Brendan Nichtern (Chrome): 4 goals each
Other Stats of Note
- Chrome won the ground ball battle 31-26
- Shots on goal favored Waterdogs 39-38
- Caused Turnovers: Waterdogs 4, Chrome 7
- Farrell (Chrome): 18 of 30 on faceoffs, 14 ground balls (led all players)
“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.