The final game of Week 1 in the PLL saw Whipsnakes LC matched up against Chrome LC. Whipsnakes cruised to league-best 9-1 record last year, but lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Waterdogs. Chrome had their first winning season in team history last year but lost in disappointing fashion to Chaos in their quarterfinal playoff matchup. Whipsnakes managed to keep things close all game. However, a goal from Cross Ferrara with six seconds left gave Chrome a 12-11 victory.

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Chrome takes two-goal lead at halftime

Chrome jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, courtesy of Mike Manley (0:59). Justin Anderson made it 2-0 at 5:49. Whipsnakes equalized with goals from Tucker Dordevic (6:38) and big offseason acquisition Will Manny (7:02). Sam Handley (8:25) briefly restored Chrome’s lead, but Mike Chanenchuk (9:20) and Connor Kirst (9:37) gave the Whips a 4-3 lead. Ryan Terefenko (10:04) would tie it up, then Anderson beat the first quarter buzzer (11:58) for his second of the game and a 5-4 Chrome lead.

Chanenchuk (1:45) scored his second to level the match, but Chrome would score three of the next four goals to extend their lead at halftime. Logan Wisnauskas (8:32) and Colin Heacock (9:50) put Chrome up 7-5. Manny tallied his second at 10:40, but Jackson Morrill answered 22 seconds later for Chrome, giving them an 8-6 edge.

Ferrara, Anderson power Chrome to win

Morrill assisted Cross Ferrara’s first PLL goal (3:42) to open the second half scoring. Anderson followed with his hat-trick goal (5:21) to push Chrome’s lead to 10-6. New Whips attackman Garrett Leadmon, fresh off a spectacular performance for Duke University in the NCAA tournament, picked up his first professional goal at 7:42. Defender Tyler Warner followed (10:04; assisted by Manny) to cut the lead to 10-8 entering the final frame.

Chanenchuk continued the Whipsnakes’ run with a power play goal (1:03) for his hat trick, making it a one-goal game. Anderson scored on a power play (4:37) for his fourth of the game to put Chrome up two again. As per usual, the Whipsnakes rallied in the final minutes of the game to keep it close. Keegan Khan (10:46 power play), followed by Dordevic’s second goal (11:25) suddenly tied the game at 11-11. But Ferrara would play the hero in his pro debut, beating Goalie Kyle Bernlohr with just six seconds remaining in the game for the 12-11 Chrome victory.

Other Stats of Note

Whipsnakes held slight edges in Shots on Goal (29-27), Ground Balls (35-33), and Faceoffs (14-13). Petey LaSalla filled in at the faceoff dot for the injured Joe Nardella.

Ferrara had two assists along with his two goals, while Morrill finished the day with a goal and four assists.

Bernlohr finished with 15 saves, while Sean Sconone made 14 saves in net for Chrome.

Chrome (1-0) faces Archers (1-0) in the first Friday night Week 2 game from Charlotte, NC. Whipsnakes (0-1) match up with Atlas (0-1) in the first Saturday game.

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“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.