Chaos Get Chance to Defend Premier Lacrosse League Title

PHOTO COURTESY OF PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE

The Chaos lost its final game, but still snuck into the Premier Lacrosse League playoffs as the No. 7 seed.


Despite enduring a season where nearly everything has gone the wrong direction, Chaos will get a chance to defend its title in the 2022 Premier Lacrosse League playoffs.

Helped by Cannons’ 11-9 loss to Whipsnakes on Sunday, Andy Towers’ crew snuck into the playoffs in the seventh and final position before even taking the field this weekend in Tacoma, Washington. Cannons put up a fight, taking a 6-2 advantage when Jonathan Donville scored with three and a half minutes remaining in the first half. But Whipsnakes cut that deficit to one before the break thanks to a Jackson Reid tally and a Mike Chanenchuk two-pointer, then earned a tie at 7 early in the third quarter on a two-pointer from Michael Ehrhardt.

"When someone has nothing to lose and they put it all out there, those are tough teams to play against because you can't predict what they're going to do or how they're going to do it," Whipsnakes coach Jim Stagnitta said. "I saw that today out of the Cannons, they slid early and were aggressive. We figured some of that out later, but they made us uncomfortable in that first half."

Ehrhardt’s two-pointer kicked off a backbreaking run for the Whips, a 6-0 spurt that put the team up for good. Colin Kirst, making his first career start in cage for Cannons, shut Whipsnakes out in the final quarter. But that wasn’t enough to back a comeback effort for his squad.

"I thought our guys played tough, played gritty and are impeccably committed to one another," Cannons coach Sean Quirk said. "They just never quit, man. They just left it out there."

Cannons finished 1-9, with its only victory coming in the first week of the season. To add insult to injury, the franchise traded its first round pick to Atlas for the second straight season. A year after taking Chris Gray with Cannons’ selection, Atlas holds the first overall pick.

Whipsnakes had nothing to play for, having already clinched the top seed in the upcoming playoffs, but made sure they entered a two-week rest period in high spirits.

Chaos also had no stakes in its game immediately following the Cannons’ loss, but certainly would have liked to enter the playoffs on a positive note considering its immense struggles. Instead, the group rolls into the postseason on a three-game skid.

Atlas got four points from Gray in a 10-9 Bulls victory, clinching a Championship Series spot for the Bulls. Considering the tight final score, two successful challenges from Atlas coach Ben Rubeor that wiped out Chaos goals loomed large.

Chaos got within a goal twice in the fourth quarter on goals from Chris Cloutier and Dhane Smith but was unable to find the equalizer. Yet, if any team knows the playoffs are a whole new season, it is Chaos. Despite its two victories on the year, the franchise has shown an ability to turn things around quickly in the past.

CHROME LOCKS UP NO. 2

Chrome has officially gone from last place last year to second this year in an impressive turnaround for Coach Tim Soudan, the favorite to win the league’s Coach of the Year honor.

Logan Wisnauskas gave his teammate Brendan Nichtern a run for his money for the Rookie of the Year crown, notching seven points on four goals and three assists in Chrome’s 13-12 triumph against Redwoods. He scored the game-winner to break a tie at 12 with just over a minute remaining, streaking across the top past a pick to create an opportunity.

Wisnauskas was involved in each of Chrome’s final four goals, scoring twice with two assists, as Redwoods attempted to dig itself out of a three-goal hole.

“Our team thinks it and we all know it, I think he should be the Rookie of the Year,” Nichtern said. “You saw it today. He can explode at any time.”







ARCHERS CLINCH NO. 3

Connor Fields and Grant Ament each had their best games of the season on Saturday, helping propel Archers to a 16-12 final against Waterdogs and into the third seed in the playoffs.

Fields scored five times, setting a new season high for goals and points in the process, while Ament totaled a season-best six points while burying the two-point dagger at the end of the game.

Waterdogs went on a four-goal run stretching from the third quarter into the fourth to cut a five-point deficit down to one. Tom Schreiber answered by beating his man up top for a goal before Ament put it away.

Waterdogs dropped to the five seed, having lost twice in a row after previously riding a five-game win streak.

NOTEWORTHY

Cannons’ Brodie Merrill tied Greg Gurenlian’s record for most ground balls in pro lacrosse history in his 200th career game. He said postgame he’ll have to reflect further before committing to play in the PLL in 2023. … Your final stat leaders: One-point goals, Lyle Thompson (26); points, Lyle Thompson (44); two-point goals, Connor Kelly (4); assists, Kieran McArdle & Brendan Nichtern (23); faceoff percentage, Trevor Baptiste (70%); save percentage, Kyle Bernlohr (58%); ground balls, Connor Farrell (90); caused turnovers, Garrett Epple (19). … Chrome’s Brendan Nichtern topped rookies in assists and points. Logan Wisnauskas was first among rookies in goals. … Atlas’ Eric Law tied Casey Powell for 10th in all-time goals. … Atlas released Brent Adams and picked up Clarke Petterson this week.

Power rankings

(Last week’s rankings in parentheses)

  1. Whipsnakes (1)

  2. Chrome (2)

  3. Archers (3)

  4. Atlas (5)

  5. Waterdogs (4)

  6. Redwoods (6)

  7. Chaos (7)

  8. Cannons (8)

Up Next

All times eastern

(In Foxborough, Massachusetts)

Quarterfinals

Saturday, Sept. 3

No. 7 Chaos vs. No. 2 Chrome, noon
No. 6 Redwoods vs. No. 3 Archers, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Waterdogs vs. No. 4 Atlas, 5:10 p.m.

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