Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
The Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club came from behind to defeat the Cannons 11-9 on Sunday afternoon, ending the Cannons’ season in the Premier Lacrosse League.
The Cannons needed a win in order to tie Chaos for the final playoff spots with the hopes of winning the goal differential tiebreaker. The Cannons held a 6-5 lead in this game at halftime and held the Whipsnakes scoreless in the first and fourth quarters. The only other team to hold the Whipsnakes scoreless in a quarter was the Waterdogs. The Waterdogs handed the Whipsnakes their only loss this year.
A change was also made in goal for the Cannons. Rookie Colin Kirst got his first start PLL start in goal. He stopped five of 10 shots in the loss. The Cannons end their season on a nine-game losing streak.
Meanwhile, the Whipsnakes had a huge six-goal third quarter that lifted them to victory. Brad Smith led the way for the Whipsakes with a goal and three assists.
Whipsnakes blanked in the first quarter
The Cannons got on the scoreboard first when Chris Aslanian Jr. took a feed from Lyle Thompson and buried it top shelf at 9:11. Asher Nolting would bully his way to the front of the net to score at 4:48. The Cannons held a 2-0 advantage after the first quarter.
Stephen Rehfuss extended the Cannons’ lead with a bouncer that got by Kyle Bernlohr at 11:27 of the second quarter to make it 3-0.
On the run, Brad Smith would put one past Kirst to get the Whipsnakes on the board at 9:23. A goal by Mike Chanenchuk at 8:10 would get the Whipsnakes back within one 3-2.
Nolting scored his second of the game with a highlight reel behind-the-back goal at 7:45 to extend the Cannons’ lead to 4-2. Goals from Thompson and Jonathan Donville rounded out a three-goal run for the Cannon to make the score 6-2.
But the Whipsnakes would mount a late comeback in the first half. First, it was Jackson Reid finding the back of the net on a pick and roll at 2:43. With 2:09 left in the half, Chanenchuk scored from downtown off the post and in for a two-point goal. The Cannons led at halftime 6-5.
Second half comeback ends the Cannons’ season
Mark Cockerton got the scoring started in the second half at 10:22 to extend the Cannons’ lead to 7-5, but their offence would go silent after that.
A goal by Michael Ehrhardt at 9:26 would begin a 6-0 run for the Whipsnakes. Ehrhardt’s goal was called a single goal on the field, but after replay, the call was overturned to a two-point goal to tie the game 7-7.
Zed Williams, running around the net, would get the go-ahead marker at 8:46 of the third quarter. Smith fed Jay Carlson wide open in front of the crease 33 seconds later to give the Whipsnakes a 9-7 lead.
Williams would again find the back of the net with 3:34 remaining in the quarter to give the Whipsnakes a three-goal advantage. Matt Rambo rounded out the six-point run by ducking and dodging defenders to score with 1:29 remaining in the third.
Thompson would shoot a laser beam into the top corner with 22.8 seconds left to make it 11-8 for the Whipsnakes with one quarter left to play.
Cannons come up short
Down three goals with one quarter left to play, the Cannons went into desperation mode.
Ryan Drenner gave the Cannons some hope that their season could be salvaged. Cutting hard into the centre of the field, Drenner took a hit but was still able to get a hard shot off to score at 0:42 to make it 11-9.
And then some controversy. Smith took a shot for the Whipsnakes that was called off the post. A television replay showed the ball did cross the goal line, but no challenge flag was thrown and they played on.
Meanwhile, Kirst made some big saves to keep the Cannons within two. However, the defence couldn’t pick up rebounds. At one point, the Whipsnakes had four shot clock resets in one possession.
In the dying seconds of the game, the Cannons were able to cause a turnover with a chance for a two-point goal. Instead of going on transition, they called a timeout with 6.8 seconds left and couldn’t tie the game. You can make the final 11-9 to end the Cannons’ season.
Brad Smith, 1g 3a
Mike Chanenchuk, 1-2g, 1g, 1a
Zed Williams, 2g
Matt Rambo, 1g 1a
Michael Ehrhardt, 1-2g
Lyle Thompson, 2g 3a
Asher Nolting, 2g
Chris Aslanian Jr., 1g 1a
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Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.