“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

Archers LC battled Redwoods LC in a Week 5 PLL matchup in Minneapolis. Both teams were looking to rebound from one-goal losses in Week 4. Even without attackman Grant Ament, Archers still boast the highest scoring offense in the PLL. Conversely, the Redwoods defensive unit leads the league in caused turnovers. Something had to give in the only meeting between the teams this season. That something came in the person of Marcus Holman, whose 5-point night helped Archers to a narrow 10-9 victory. With the win, Archers improves to 3-2 heading into the All-Star break, while Redwoods fall to 1-4.

Buzzer-Beater Bonanza

Hoping to shake things up a bit, Redwoods coach Nat St. Laurent made a pair of significant changes to the starting lineup. Jack Kelly got the start in net in place of Tim Troutner. Joe Robertson was also inserted into the lineup, with premier midfielder Myles Jones coming off the bench. The play of Kelly in particular seemed to energize Redwoods as they jumped out to an early lead. Jules Heningburg (2g, 1a; 1:51) opened the scoring, and Charlie Bertrand extended the lead to 2-0 at 9:38. Connor DeSimone (2g, 1a; 12:00) would respond for Archers as time expired in the first quarter.

Rob Pannell (1g, 4a) restored Redwoods’ two-goal lead, beating Archers netminder Adam Ghitelman just 49 seconds into the second quarter. Will Manny (3:37) found twine from an extremely narrow angle, and the first of four goals on the evening from Marcus Holman (4:05) tied the game at 3. Redwoods would establish another two-goal lead, courtesy of Bertrand’s second (6:19) and Robertson’s first goal of the year (10:51) on a power play. Archers would once again beat the buzzer, with Holman (14:59) firing a 2-point goal to tie the game at 5 with one second remaining in the first half.

Archers Fight to the Finish

Jones (2g; 3:18) started the second half scoring, giving Redwoods a 6-5 lead. Holman’s hat trick goal (also his third game-tying goal) at 5:25 was followed by Ryan Ambler (6:13) giving Archers their first lead of the game at 7-6. After taking a big hit from defender Graeme Hossack moments earlier, Ryder Garnsey (8:43) found himself alone on the doorstep and equalized for Redwoods. DeSimone (9:56) would add his second goal to give Archers a one-goal advantage heading into the final frame.

Heningburg’s second (0:35 fourth quarter) and Jones’s second (3:34) on another great cut to the front of the goal crease made it 9-8 in Redwoods’ favor. Tom Schreiber, who had been relentlessly hounded and stifled by the Redwoods defense, finally found a seam and scored (5:41) to tie the game for the sixth time. Holman would notch his fifth point of the night on his fourth goal at 7:20. Redwoods had multiple chances to respond, but failed to find the net, and Archers escaped with the win.

Other Stats of Note

  • Holman (Archers): 3g, 1 2-pt g, 5 points total
  • Ground Balls: Archers 25, Redwoods 24
  • Turnovers: Archers 16, Redwoods 20
  • Kelly (Redwoods): 12 saves; Ghitelman (Archers): 9 saves
  • TD Ierlan (Redwoods): 13 of 21 on faceoffs

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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 covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.