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

Week 9 of the PLL season kicked off in Denver, Colorado on Friday night, with Redwoods LC hosting Cannons LC. Cannons were looking to pull even with Redwoods and Chaos and keep their playoff hopes alive with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Redwoods were trying to further separate themselves from the bottom of the standings.

Using a combination of dominance at the faceoff dot, solid goaltending and highlight-reel scoring, Redwoods won 15-12. The win moves Redwoods to 3-5 on the year, while Cannons drop to 1-7 and remain in last place. The Cannons loss also secured playoff berths for Archers, Chrome, and Waterdogs (all 4-3, with matches to play on Saturday).

2-Pointers Give Redwoods the Edge

Eddy Glazener opened the scoring with a 2-point goal at 1:12, followed by Rob Pannell at 2:14 to give Redwoods an early 3-0 lead. Stephen Rehfuss (8:30; assisted by Lyle Thompson) would make it 3-1 after 12 minutes. Cannons had numerous chances to equalize during the first quarter, but Redwoods netminder Jack Kelly was up to the task.

Charlie Bertrand would start a see-saw second quarter with a power play marker (1:07) to push Redwoods lead back to three. Thompson answered for Cannons at 2:17, assisted by Chris Aslanian. Matt Kavanagh of Redwoods (3:04) and Asher Nolting of Cannons (6:33) would trade goals.

Kyle Hartzell then scored Redwoods’ second 2-point goal of the game eight seconds later to make it 7-3. Cannons would trim the lead to two once again, with strikes from Jonathan Donville (8:02) and Ryan Drenner (9:29). Nakeie Montgomery, continuing his strong play of late, again pushed the Redwoods lead to three (11:23), only for Thompson to work some buzzer-beating magic (12:00). At the half, Redwoods maintained a two-goal lead, 8-6.

Cannons’ comeback not enough

Cannons would finally erase the deficit in the third quarter, outscoring Redwoods 5-3. Bertrand’s second power play goal (1:25) was answered when Thompson assisted Mark Cockerton (2:08), then scored his hat trick (3:40). Montgomery’s second (5:33) extended the lead back to two before Nolting’s second (6:38) and Donville’s second (7:56; assisted by Rehfuss) tied the game at 10. Bertrand notched his hat trick at 8:46, but Cockerton’s second goal (10:47; assisted by Rehfuss) equalized the game at 11 going into the final frame.

Pannell reestablished the Redwoods lead with his second of the game (0:34), but Thompson netted his fourth (3:39) to make it 12-12. From there, it was all Redwoods the rest of the way. Ryder Garnsey (5:29), Bertrand’s fourth (6:44) and Garnsey again (9:18) sealed the victory.

Other Stats of Note

  • Lyle Thompson (Cannons): 4g, 2a
  • Rob Pannell (Redwoods): 2g, 3a
  • TD Ierlan (Redwoods): 19 of 28 on faceoffs; 14 ground balls (led all players)
  • Shots on Goal: Cannons 28; Redwoods 28

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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.