By: Steven MacDonald
Week Five in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) wraps up from Minneapolis with the Cannons taking on the Archers.
Following the 19-7 loss at the hands of Waterdogs on Friday night, Cannons have now lost four in a row.
Midfielder Paul Rabil was held pointless in the game Friday. In addition, attackman Lyle Thompson was held scoreless for the second time this season. In his last three games, Thompson has one goal and 13 turnovers.
The Cannons received goals Friday from four players led by attackman Ryan Drenner with three. Rookie Jamie Trimboli scored his first PLL goal after being picked up from the Redwoods reserve squad prior to week five.
Newly acquired faceoff specialist Kevin Reisman went 8-28 from the stripe.
Defensively the Cannons have given up 17 goals per game over their last three. The defensive unit ranks last in the PLL, and the penalty kill sits a few spots above that at No. 6 in the league.
Despite the struggles of Rabil and Thompson on Friday, the Cannons’ offense still sits at No. 4 on the PLL website.
Much like Cannons, Archers have a losing streak of their own to deal with. After heading into week four as the No. 1 team in the PLL and two games on the weekend, the Archers fell in both contests by one goal each.
The Archers’ offense came into week five with the No. 1 mark, and need just 10 goals on Sunday to reclaim the top spot. Meanwhile, their power play is second in the PLL, converting on six of their eight attempts.
All-Star captain Grant Ament leads the team with 22 points and a team-high 15 assists. The trio of Ament, Will Manny, and Tom Schreiber each have 15 or more points for Archers this season.
The defense for Archers is also tops in the league, giving up just nine goals per game on average. The penalty killing unit sits fourth in the PLL, killing off five of seven opportunities.
What To Watch For:
Look for the Archers to get back to playing their game. That is, look for them to have fun out there. Especially on offense, watch the way the Archers move the ball freely, and make sharp angle passes look routine. And the goal celebrations are some of the most noteworthy in the league this year.
Defensively, it will be interesting to see if the Archers follow the same plan as some of the Cannons recent competition. When Thompson has the ball in his stick, watch if the Archers defense is quick to slide to him and throw double teams at him to rush his decision making.