Waterdogs LC hosted Chaos LC in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday night in a Week 4 matchup of winless PLL teams. Good news for both teams came with numerous players joining their respective squads. Chaos welcomed back Dhane Smith, Josh Byrne, Chase Fraser, and Ian MacKay from the Buffalo Bandits after completing their NLL campaign. Two additional Bandits players, Chris Cloutier and Max Adler, also joined Chaos but were placed on the PUP list and did not play.
For the Waterdogs, attackman Michael Sowers and defender Chris Sabia returned from injuries. Goaltender Dillon Ward joined the team after winning the NLL Cup with the Colorado Mammoth, but he did not play. Despite the influx of offensive talent joining Chaos, it was the Waterdogs who dominated the game from the start. With 4 goals from Ryan Brown and a 6-point night from Connor Kelly, the Waterdogs prevailed 18-9 to improve to 1-3. Chaos now sits alone in last place with an 0-4 record.
Lots of Talent, Little Sync
Fraser opened the scoring, beating Waterdogs goalie Matt DeLuca at 2:31 on a power play. But it was all Chaos could muster in the first quarter. Waterdogs went on a five-goal run, while the new-look Chaos offense struggled to mesh. Sowers would get the equalizer at 4:40, followed by Kieran McArdle with a nifty move on the doorstep to beat Chaos goalie Blaze Riorden at 6:17. Ten seconds later, long pole midfielder Ryland Rees scooped a loose ball of the faceoff, and bounced a mid-range shot past Riorden to make it 3-1.
Connor Kelly began his big night at 7:02, then fired a 2-point bomb at 7:35 to extend the lead to 6-1. Fraser would open the second quarter scoring as well, netting his second power play marker at 3:52. Almost a minute later (4:49), Kelly would notch his second 2-point goal of the game to make it 8-2.
Kelly would score again – only this time, it was Chaos’s faceoff man Thomas Kelly. He took the ensuing faceoff and beat DeLuca at 4:55. Mac O’Keefe (3g; 7:09) would follow with the third power play goal from Chaos to cut the lead to 8-4. Ben Randall (7:35) would respond for Waterdogs to give them a 9-4 halftime lead.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
Waterdogs came out of the break and quickly pushed the lead to 13-4, courtesy of two tallies from Ryan Brown (3:39; 4:24) and Rees’ second goal of the game (4:30), this one coming from behind the 2-point arc. Dhane Smith (2g, 2a; 6:21) would end the run with his first goal of the season, followed by O’Keefe’s second the game (9:48) to make it 13-6 entering the final frame.
Any hope of another cardiac Chaos comeback was wiped out by another five-goal run from Waterdogs to open the fourth quarter. Brown’s hat-trick goal (1:16), Sowers’s second (2:37), Connor Kelly’s fourth (3:16), Brown’s fourth (5:58), and Ryan Conrad (7:30) pushed the lead to 18-6. The Chaos offense finally started to gel after it was too late, with Smith’s second (9:12; power play), and hat-trick goals from Fraser (9:18) and O’Keefe (11:48) closing the scoring at 18-9.
Waterdogs play the undefeated Whipsnakes in Week 5 in Minneapolis. Chaos will square off against Cannons that same weekend.
Other Stats of Note
- Zac Tucci (Waterdogs): 15 of 26 on faceoffs; 8 Ground Balls
- Matt DeLuca (Waterdogs): 11 saves
- Turnovers: Chaos 17, Waterdogs 13
- Zach Currier (Waterdogs): 3 assists
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“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.