Ryder Garnsey Makes Jaws Drop, Waterdogs Keep Rolling in Denver

PHOTO COURTESY OF PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE


For the second time in three weeks, the Waterdogs got an overtime winner from a player with a local connection.

Two weeks after Connecticut native Connor Kelly secured a victory in Fairfield, former Denver Pioneer Jack Hannah served a similar role on the same field he played on collegiately. Hannah went low to high from the left of the cage three and a half minutes into the extra frame, ripping a shot past Jack Concannon for a 16-15 triumph over the Atlas. The golden goal extended the Waterdogs’ winning streak to five after the team dropped its first three contests of the season.

“I think we’re just getting better every week,” Hannah said. “We talk about it every week. We talk about the things we need to work on. Just every week, we’ve been getting better. I think we’ve been doing that for five weeks in a row.”

The game-winner helped the Waterdogs survive a fourth quarter collapse that saw a three-goal lead evaporate in the final six minutes. The Atlas mounted a four-goal run in two minutes of action, with Dox Aitken giving the Bulls the lead with 3:08 left for a 15-14 advantage. The Waterdogs needed a desperation goal from captain Steve DeNapoli with 15 seconds remaining to even get it to OT.

Kieran McArdle and Kelly each had five points for the red-hot Waterdogs, who last lost on June 17.

PLAYOFF BATTLE HEATING UP

The Redwoods earned some cushion when it comes to reaching the playoffs, while the Cannons’ situation is becoming dire.

Backed by five points from Rob Pannell, the Woods secured a 15-12 victory against the Cannons Friday night in a matchup with heavy postseason implications. The Redwoods scored the final three goals of the game after Lyle Thompson tied it at 12, helping the team to 3-5 and into sixth place in the standings.

“In this league, anyone can win any game,” Charlie Bertrand said. “It’s all about peaking at the right time. If we can build off of this and take that into next week, keep taking the right steps in that direction, then we should be in good position.”

Ryder Garnsey scored two of the final three goals of the game, both in jaw-dropping fashion. First, he somehow was able to beat Nick Marrocco while triple-teamed and on the ground.

Then, he went backhand on a move from X with a no-look shot.

Bertrand also took part in the offensive showcase a week after making an appearance on “SportsCenter.” This time, he weaved through the Cannons defense before a wicked behind-the-back move.







Saving the Cannons from a disastrous weekend was the result of Saturday’s Chaos-Chrome matchup. The Chrome snapped its three-game losing streak with a 13-9 victory, dropping the Chaos to 2-6 and putting the team only one game up on the Cannons. Had the Chaos won, the Cannons’ odds of making the playoffs would have dropped to 3.3 percent, according to the PLL’s Joe Keegan. Instead, they sit at 20.1 percent.

The Cannons can thank Sean Sconone, who shut out the Chaos in the fourth quarter, and Logan Wisnauskas, who earned three of his five points in the Chrome’s game-closing four-point run. Cole Williams broke a tie at 9 in the first minute of the final frame, while Dylan Molloy, Justin Anderson and Wisnauskas each found the back of the net to finish the contest.

“We’re having the best time of our lives out here,” Molloy said. “We’re just having fun seeing each other every weekend. That’s leaked into some of our performance, but we got a little sloppy those last three games. I’m happy we shook it off.”

The Redwoods, one game up on the Chaos and two on the Cannons, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to both wins and goal differential. With a negative-11 goal differential, the Woods have a serious advantage when it comes to the tiebreaker with the Chaos (negative-21 goal differential) and the Cannons (negative-25).

WHIPS CONTINUE TO ROLL

Matt Rambo scored four unassisted goals as the Whipsnakes endured a lightning delay for a 13-11 win over the Archers, moving the two-time PLL champions one win away from locking up the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Joe Nardella dominated at the faceoff stripe, winning 20 of 26 draws, as the Whipsnakes were able to get the best of Archers goalie Brett Dobson in his first career start.

The Whipsnakes pulled ahead with a four-point run stretching from the first quarter into the second to make it 8-4, then asserted its dominance again with a 4-1 spurt to push the advantage to 13-8 in the fourth. The Archers were never out of it, but they couldn’t get that final push to hand the Whipsnakes their first defeat since Week 5.

NOTEWORTHY

The entire league wore throwback mesh uniforms made my Champion, with the PLL also leaning into the throwback theme with its broadcasts and social media. … The Saturday tripleheader was moved up to avoid inclement weather. Chaos-Chrome kicked off the day’s festivities at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. … The Cannons traded Alex Smith to the Chrome for Pat Aslanian on Tuesday, reuniting the two Aslanian brothers. The Cannons picked up Chris Aslanian from the player pool last week. … Rob Pannell passed Casey Powell to move into fourth all-time in points. Marcus Holman became only the ninth player to surpass 400 career points.

POWER RANKINGS

(Last week’s rankings in parentheses)

1. Whipsnakes (1)
2. Waterdogs (3)
3. Atlas (2)
4. Chrome (5)
5. Archers (4)
6. Redwoods (7)
7. Chaos (6)
8. Cannons (8)

UP NEXT
ALL TIMES EASTERN

(In Salt Lake City)

Friday

Atlas vs. Whipsnakes, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
Waterdogs vs. Redwoods, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

Saturday

Chaos vs. Archers, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
Cannons vs. Chrome, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

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