“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

Redwoods LC took on Waterdogs LC in a late Week 10 PLL matchup Friday night in Salt Lake City after a lengthy lightning delay. Waterdogs were on a 5-game win streak that propelled them into the top half of the standings. They have a spot (as of this writing) in the February Sixes Championship tournament. Likewise, Redwoods were looking to clinch a playoff spot and climb towards a spot in the February tournament.

Rob Pannell had an eight-point night as Redwoods snapped the Waterdogs’ win streak with a 14-12 triumph. The win moves Redwoods to 4-5 and clinches them a playoff berth. They remain in sixth place in the PLL standings. Waterdogs drop to 5-4, tied at the moment with Atlas (5-4) for either second or third place. Rankings could change pending the outcomes of Saturday games involving Chrome (5-3) and Archers (4-4).

Narrow edge to Redwoods in first half

Pannell opened the scoring 26 seconds into the game. Waterdogs would take the lead right back when Connor Kelly fired a 2-point goal past Redwoods netminder Jack Kelly at 2:52. The teams would continue to trade goals the rest of the quarter. Redwoods got markers from Ryder Garnsey (6:36), Kyle Hartzell (8:15), Charlie Bertrand (10:49), and Jules Heningburg (11:43). Waterdogs equalized with a pair from Michael Sowers (7:28; 8:35) and Kelly’s second of the game (11:57) to make it 5-5 after 12 minutes of play.

Redwoods took the lead again in the second quarter, with Nakeie Montgomery (1:31) and Heningburg’s second of the game (5:04). Steven DeNapoli (7:53) and Ethan Walker (9:05) responded for Waterdogs to tie the game at 7. Bertrand (10:09) then scored on a power play, followed by Myles Jones (11:23) to restore a two-goal lead. Sowers notched his hat trick at the halftime buzzer (11:59) to cut that lead to 9-8.

Redwoods punch their playoff ticket

Ryan Conrad (2:21; assisted by Kieran McArdle) opened the third quarter scoring, tying the game for Waterdogs. Pannell (6:23) made it 10-9 before McArdle equalized at 7:15, assisted by Conrad. Matt Kavanagh would put a Ryder Garnsey feed past Waterdogs goaltender Dillon Ward at 11:31 for an 11-10 Redwoods lead entering the final frame.

Garnsey’s second goal of the game (1:37 fourth quarter) pushed the lead back to two, but Waterdogs would respond again. Sowers (2:18) notched his fourth goal, and Mikie Schlosser (5:54) tied the game at 12. But Redwoods would have the final say, with Bertrand (6:36) and Garnsey (9:36) both getting their hat trick goals to seal the victory.

Top Scorers

Redwoods LC

  • Rob Pannell: 2g, 6a
  • Ryder Garnsey: 3g, 2a
  • Charlie Bertrand: 3g
  • Jules Heningburg: 2g, 1a

Waterdogs LC

  • Michael Sowers: 4g
  • Connor Kelly: 1g, 1 2-pt g, 1a
  • Kieran McArdle: 1g, 2a
  • Ryan Conrad: 1g, 1a

Other Stats of Note

  • TD Ierlan (Redwoods): 18 of 28 on faceoffs; 12 ground balls (led all players)
  • Jack Kelly (Redwoods): 11 saves; 50% sv pct.
  • Ground balls: Waterdogs 41; Redwoods 27
  • Caused Turnovers: Waterdogs 9; Redwoods 3

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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.