The PLL heads to the twin cities this weekend for five more games as they are halfway through their third season. With just three regular season weekends left the teams now shift to the playoff push, as the Waterdogs and Cannons have a big opportunity to move up in the standings, as they both have two games and one against each other Friday night. There is plenty still for each team to play for, as the standings are pretty packed together in the middle.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Seven teams will make it to the playoffs, with the first seed getting a bye to the semifinals and the remaining six heading to Salt Lake City for the Quarterfinals. Scoring differential will break any ties in the standings, and as it stands now the Archers are sitting pretty at +23 and the Waterdogs have some work to do by either winning some games or losing close games at -11.
All Star Rosters Announced
The PLL All-Star weekend is taking place July 18th in San Jose with the All-Star game at 7pm and Skills Contest at 9:30pm. The rosters were announced today as Grant Ament and Blaze Riorden will captain each team and pick their rosters sometime next week. Plenty of guys who have been playing great got snubbed, including John Galloway, Graeme Hossack, Josh Currier and Jeff Teat. The rosters were made up of fan votes. Look for some of the snubs to have some extra motivation this weekend.
The Hogan Trade
The Cannons dealt Chris Hogan to the Whipsnakes with Drew Simoneau for Kevin Reisman, a player who has played with Cannons coach Sean Quirk before. Hogan goes from the worst team in the league, where he appeared in one game, to the best team in the league where he could be relied on in an upcoming week. The Whipsnakes have Abbott, Bernhardt and Hayes at SSDM, but Hogan could help out in the situation of a double header.
THE GAMES IN MINNEAPOLIS
Cannons – Waterdogs, Friday 8pm
What an opportunity for both teams to get their name in the win column, a thing both teams havent done in quite some time. The Waterdogs showed some fireworks on July 4th weekend, scoring 16 in a loss, while the Cannons lost by four to a Chaos team who had struggled quite a bit early this season. Connor Kelly has led the way for the Waterdogs, while Paul Rabil has been playing All-Star lacrosse this year. The Cannons are having problems in the goal and Jacob Stover (McDonough) made his first career appearance this past weekend. If the Waterdogs can shoot well like they did last week, they should have an opportunity to win.
Redwoods – Whipsnakes, Saturday 6pm
This is going to be a fun faceoff matchup to watch. Joe Nardella vs TD Ierlan are two of the best faceoff athletes in the league and they will battle Saturday evening to give their team more offensive possessions. It is looking like Matt Rambo will miss a second straight game with a wrist injury, so the offense will rely on their offensive depth and Zed Williams to put the ball past Tim Troutner / Jack Kelly. Myles Jones has been playing much better this season, and the Whipsnakes are going to have to play him as both a shooter and feeder. This should be a pretty even game unless one of the faceoff guys is dominant.
Atlas – Chaos, Saturday 8:45pm
These two have been playing great lacrosse lately and are both on a bit of a heater, winning two straight. The Atlas seem to know what theyre doing offensive, as they have scored 18 and 16 in their past two games. They get the pleasure of going up against the leagues best goalie in Blaze Riorden this weekend. Jeff Teat and Danny Logan are rookie All-Stars and Bryan Costabile is a second year All-Star. Rookie Mac O’Keefe has been lighting it up for the Chaos as well this summer. I think the main story to watch is the matchup of Chaos defense / Blaze vs the Atlas offense.
Chrome – Waterdogs, Sunday, 4:45pm
The Waterdogs second game of the weekend comes against the Chrome, a team who I havent quite figured out yet. After John Galloway posted a save percentage over 70% Friday night in a win over the Archers, they sat him on Sunday for Sean Sconone, who saved 38% in a loss to the Atlas. Jordan McIntosh and John Ranagan have been on a mission dodging from up top while Jackson Morrill and Colin Heacock have been embracing their role dodging from below. Without Jordan Wolf, their offense is so deep and will be tough for the Waterdogs to stop. I think Galloway will get the nod and the Waterdogs might struggle in their second game of the weekend. Friday is a must win for the Waterdogs.
Cannons – Archers, Sunday 7:30pm
Despite having two games this weekend, Friday is also a must win for the Cannons. After a long rest, the Archers are going to look to bounce back after an 0-2 weekend and have quite the opportunity to do so. If they are able to get enough shots on net they are bound to have a game like the one they played week 1 against the Atlas. You might get to see 39 year old Brodie Merrill guard 24 year old Grant Ament this weekend. The Archers offensive unit is one of the best in the world and the defensive unit for the Cannons defense has been struggling lately.
This weekend provides plenty of big opportunities for many teams to get closer to clinching a playoff berth. With just two weeks of play after the All-Star break, the time is now to get a head start on trying to lock in a spot. Some must win games, some middle of the standings games. Each game gets bigger here on out. Look for Minneapolis to produce some high quality, competitive games.
Sam Kuhn currently is the graduate assistant for the men’s lacrosse program at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio and is working to complete his Masters of Business Administration in 2020. Sam graduated from the College of Wooster in 2018, where he received his Bachelors Degree in English and played lacrosse as well. In his four years, Sam was a two time All-NCAC selection, a first team All-Region selection in 2018, and surpassed 100 goals for his career, one of seven members in program history to do so. Sam has interned with Inside Lacrosse, and wrote for the sports section of The Wooster Voice.