“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
The PLL kicked off the final week of the regular season with Chrome LC meeting Redwoods LC at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. Redwoods were looking to avenge a lopsided 12-3 loss to Chrome earlier in the season, while evening their record and improving their #6 playoff seeding. Meanwhile, Chrome hoped to continue their winning ways and lock up the #2 playoff seed.
Despite squandering leads of 4-0, 6-2, and 9-6, Chrome broke a fourth quarter tie with a minute left in the game to prevail 13-12. They finish the regular season at 7-3 and will be the #2 seed in the playoffs, playing either Chaos or Cannons in the first round. Chrome also secured one of the four spots in the February Sixes tournament.
Redwoods finish the season at 4-6 and remain the #6 seed for the playoffs. They will play the #3 seed (either Archers or Atlas) in the first round of the postseason. However, Redwoods did not qualify to participate in the February Sixes tournament.
Chrome build early lead but leave the door open
The start of the game looked like a rerun of the earlier matchup between these teams, as Chrome opened with a four-goal run. Logan Wisnauskas got the scoring started 15 seconds into the first quarter. Mike Messenger made it 2-0 with just over two minutes gone in the game. Jordan MacIntosh (5:43) and Dylan Molloy (8:38) extended the Chrome lead to 4-0 before Rob Pannell struck twice (9:36; 10:34) for Redwoods to halve the deficit. Cole Williams (11:53) responded to make it 5-2 Chrome after 12 minutes of play.
Colin Heacock buried a Jackson Morrill feed at 2:04 of the second quarter to restore a four-goal lead for Chrome. Redwoods came back with a four goal-run of their own to tie the game. Matt Kavanagh (3:43), Pannell’s hat trick goal (4:44), Sergio Perkovic (5:21), and Ryder Garnsey (6:45) leveled the game at 6-6. Wisnauskas’ second goal of the game (9:27) and MacIntosh’s second of the game (10:59) gave Chrome a two-goal lead heading into halftime.
Redwoods keep it close but get no cigar
Connor Farrell extended Chrome’s lead to 9-6, taking the opening faceoff and beating Redwoods netminder Jack Kelly six seconds into the second half. Back-to-back goals from Pannell (3:07; fourth of the game) and Perkovic (4:58; second of the game) pulled Redwoods within one. Brendan Nichtern pushed the lead back to two at 7:41, but Redwoods responded with a 2-point goal from Myles Jones (9:43; assisted by Perkovic) and a marker from Charlie Bertrand (10:28) to take their first lead of the game, 11-10.
Wisnauskas notched his hat trick 39 seconds into the final quarter to tie the game at 11. Perkovic restored Redwoods’ lead with his own hat-trick goal at 3:31. Just under a minute later (4:28), Justin Anderson, assisted by Wisnauskas, pulled Chrome even at 12. The game remained a tight affair until Wisnauskas found the back of the net for the fourth time (10:59). Redwoods then took an untimely penalty trying to regain the ensuing possession, which allowed Chrome to run out the clock and continue their impressive turnaround season.
Other Stats of Note
- Sean Sconone (Chrome): 13 saves, 54% sv pct
- Logan Wisnauskas (Chrome): 4g, 3a
- Rob Pannell (Redwoods): 4g, 1a
- Sergio Perkovic (Redwoods): 3g, 1a
- Connor Farrell (Chrome): 17 of 27 on faceoffs; 10 Ground Balls (led all players)
- Brendan Nichtern (Chrome): 1g, 3a
Nichtern continues his push for Rookie of the Year honors, finishing the regular season tied with Waterdogs’ Kieran McArdle for the league lead in assists (23). He is also currently tied with Cannons’ Lyle Thompson for second in the league in points (39). Thompson plays against Whipsnakes today; McArdle currently leads the PLL with 42 points.
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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.