Redwoods Fall To Outlaws, Remain Winless

The California Redwoods matched up against the Denver Outlaws Saturday evening in the third game of Week 4 in Minneapolis. California currently sits in a tie for last place with the Philadelphia Waterdogs. The Outlaws are 1-1, but have not played in two weeks. The lengthy rest was of little consequence, as Denver’s defense subjected the Redwoods to separate scoring droughts of 12+ and 24+ minutes, including a shutout in the fourth quarter, to win 13-8. The Outlaws improve to 2-1 this year, while California remains winless at 0-3.

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Redwoods get early lead, then lose steam

Romar Dennis got the Redwoods on the board first, firing a 2-point goal at 1:25. Ryder Garnsey then found Wesley Berg (4:35) on the doorstep to make it 3-0. But the early momentum would fizzle as Denver owned the rest of the half. Justin Anderson (7:46) started a five-goal run for the Outlaws. Graham Bundy Jr then scored in his first career 2-point goal (2:42 power play) to tie the game. Josh Zawada followed with back-to-back goals (5:53; 9:38) to put Denver up 5-3 at the half. Goaltenders Jack Kelly (Redwoods) and Owen McElroy (Outlaws) combined to make 14 saves in the half.

Late-game woes continue for Redwoods

Bundy Jr opened the second half with his second goal (1:47) to extend Denver’s lead to 6-3. Garnsey (5:31) finally broke a nearly 25-minute scoreless drought for California to pull within two. Bundy Jr struck for a third time (7:01) to make it 7-4, but Berg’s second (9:27) put California within two again.

Dennis tied the game on his second 2-point goal (11:26) of the game, but not without controversy. Berg had touched down in the crease on the play, and an Outlaws defender appeared to be interfered with trying to contest the shot. Replays showed Berg had been pushed into the crease and re-established himself outside the crease prior to the ball crossing the goal line. The officials also determined that Garnsey had not sufficiently interfered with Outlaws defender Nick Krill on the shot.

TD Ierlan took the ensuing faceoff and shoveled a shot from his off-hand past McElroy (11:33) to give Redwoods an 8-7 lead. However, Luke Wierman would win the next faceoff for Outlaws and beat Kelly to tie the game just four seconds later.

The fourth quarter showcased the Redwoods’ struggles on offense yet again, as they were unable to put any points on the board. The Outlaws got goals from Ryan Terefenko (1:07), Brennan O’Neill (3:33), Cross Ferrara (8:09), Bundy Jr’s fourth of the game (9:19), and Anderson’s second (10:55). California will try again to get in the win column next week against the Boston Cannons.

Other Stats of Note

For the first time in his PLL career, Redwoods forward Rob Pannell was held off the scoresheet

TD Ierlan (Redwoods) went 16 of 22 on faceoffs and grabbed 11 Ground Balls to lead all players

Sam Handley (Outlaws) had four assists, helping on Bundy Jr’s first three markers and Ferrara’s goal

McElroy finished with 11 saves, while Kelly had 13 in the losing effort

“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.