“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports network
The second game of the PLL’s Week 8 schedule in Dallas, Texas saw Whipsnakes LC play Chrome LC. Coming into the game Chrome was, rather oddly, the only PLL team to have an all-time winning record against Whipsnakes since the league’s inception (2-1). A Chrome win would have pulled them into a three-way tie for first place with Atlas and Whipsnakes with three weeks left in the regular season. But Whipsnakes stuck to what seems to have become their standard way of winning games. In this case, they squandered a 7-2 halftime lead, before retaking the lead and using their top-ranked defense to hold on for a 9-8 victory.
Firing on all cylinder-sssss
Chrome would kick things off, with long-pole defenseman Eli Salama (1:35) beating Whips goalie Kyle Bernlohr, off an assist from fellow longpole Will Haus. Whipsnakes would equalize and then some, going on a six-goal run that spanned into the second quarter. After an apparent goal by Matt Rambo at 5:21 was disallowed upon review (replays showed Rambo’s foot touched down in the goal crease), Zed Williams (7:01) started the run. Brad Smith (9:13), with an assist from Bryan Cole made it 2-1 before Wheaton Jackoboice (9:57) tallied his first career PLL goal.
Whipsnakes continued the run into the second quarter, courtesy of Mike Chanenchuk (4:07), Williams’s second (4:31), and Keegan Khan (5:13). Colin Heacock (8:46), assisted by Brendan Nichtern, broke the Whipsnakes’ run. Forty seconds later, Khan netted his second of the game to give Whipsnakes a commanding 7-2 lead heading into halftime.
Whipsnakes give fans their weekly heart attack
Chrome opened the second half scoring quickly, with Logan Wisnauskas (0:44; assisted by Nichtern) making it 7-3. Connor Kirst (1:01) restored the five-goal lead for Whipsnakes, but they would proceed to go without a tally for the next 19 minutes while Chrome rallied. Nichtern (2:37) started Chrome’s five-point run, then assisted Justin Anderson on a 2-point goal (6:19) to cut the deficit to 8-6.
Wisnauskas would add a power play marker at 10:10 to make it a one-goal game entering the fourth quarter. Cole Williams would tie the game for Chrome with his first career PLL goal at 7:43. Khan then assisted Bryan Cole (8:26) for what would eventually be the game-winner. The Whipsnakes defense then kept Chrome from forcing overtime the rest of the way.
With the win, Whipsnakes remain alone atop the PLL standings at 6-1. Chrome drops into a tie for third place with Archers at 4-3. Waterdogs can join that group at 4-3 tomorrow with a win against Cannons. Whipsnakes play Archers next week in Denver, while Chrome matches up with Chaos.
Other Stats of Note
- Brendan Nichtern (Chrome): 1g, 3a
- Joe Nardella (Whipsnakes): 14 of 19 on faceoffs; 8 ground balls (led all players)
- Kyle Bernlohr (Whipsnakes): 16 saves
- Turnovers: Chrome 14; Whipsnakes 20
- Caused Turnovers: Chrome 8; Whipsnakes 5
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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.