Chrome took on Cannons Saturday evening, in the third of four PLL Week 4 games in Baltimore, Maryland. Chrome were looking to remain unbeaten and keep pace with first-place Whipsnakes. Cannons were looking to even their record and move into the top half of the PLL standings.
It appeared as though the Cannons were going to get their wish as late as midway through the fourth quarter. However, Chrome managed to survive a 21-minute scoring drought in the middle stages of the game and mount a furious late rally. Four goals in the final two minutes of regulation forced overtime, where Mike Messenger scored just over two minutes into the extra frame to give Chrome the 12-11 victory.
Offensive Change Pays Dividends For Cannons
Cannons head coach Sean Quirk made a change to the offense, moving top draft pick Asher Nolting from midfield to attack. Chrome seemed not to be affected by it in the early part of the first quarter. Will Haus opened the scoring, beating Cannons goalie Nick Marrocco just 28 seconds into the game. Jordan MacIntosh (3:53) followed up to give Chrome a two-goal lead. Nolting would assist on Ryan Tierney’s first goal (4:23), then score one of his own at 6:04 to tie the game. Logan Wisnauskas (10:08) would restore Chrome’s lead before Tierney (11:05) netted his second of the game. After one quarter, it was tied 3-3.
Nolting continued his stellar play in the second quarter, beating Chrome goalie Sean Sconone for his second goal of the game at 1:03. MacIntosh’s second goal (3:29) would equalize once again; however, Chrome would then go scoreless for over 21 minutes of game time. During that time, Chrome’s defense would struggle to adapt to Nolting being on the attack, unsure of whether to double-team him, Lyle Thompson, or other weapons on the Cannons’ attack unit.
Ryan Drenner (5:21) would ignite a five-goal run for Cannons. Adam Charalambides (7:22) would score his first PLL goal, assisted by Nolting. Thompson (7:54) would then get on the board to give Cannons a 7-4 halftime lead. The third quarter would see Cannons increase the lead to 9-4, courtesy of Nolting’s third (4:32) and fourth (8:19) goals of the game, both assisted by Thompson.
Chrome Come To Life In The Fourth
Eli Salama would end Chrome’s scoring drought 37 seconds into the fourth quarter. Coach Quirk attempted to challenge the scoring play, but officials determined he had thrown his flag after the 30-second window for challenges expired. The goal stood as called, cutting the deficit to 9-5. Thompson tallied his second goal of the game at 1:19 to make it 10-5. Chrome midfielder Justin Anderson (2:26) and Cannons midfielder Bubba Fairman (4:09) traded goals to make it 11-6. Mike Messenger then began Chrome’s improbable late rally, netting his first of the game at 5:34.
The score remained 11-7 until the last two minutes of regulation, when the Chrome offense finally showed true signs of life. Successive goals from Anderson (2nd of game; 10:05), Brendan Nichtern (1g, 4a; 10:39), Dylan Molloy (11:07), and Ryan Terefenko (11:28) tied the game at 11. A stunned Cannons team found themselves heading into overtime, where they had two chances to pick up the win. Both times Thompson was stuffed by the renewed Chrome defense.
On Chrome’s next possession, an errant shot in transition led to attacker Brendan Nichtern re-starting play from X. With the Cannons still trying to match up, Nichtern found a cutting Messenger alone on the doorstep. Messenger beat Marrocco to seal another unlikely comeback for Chrome.
Chrome’s fourth win this season is a new record for the team. They also remain unbeaten (4-0) and tied for first place with Whipsnakes. Chrome hosts Atlas LC next Friday in Week 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The loss drops Cannons to 1-3, tied for fifth place with Redwoods and Waterdogs. Cannons host 0-4 Chaos LC in Week 5 action.
Other Stats of Note
- Nolting (Cannons): 4g, 2a
- Marrocco (Cannons): 16 saves
- Sconone (Chrome): 13 saves
- Connor Farrell (Chrome): 16 of 25 on faceoffs, 12 Ground Balls (led all players)
- Ground Balls: Cannons 25; Chrome 43
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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.