By: Steven MacDonald
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) Saturday slate concludes with the Waterdogs and Whipsnakes squaring off at 10 p.m. eastern.
The Waterdogs come in to the weekend 4-3 overall after winning back-to-back games prior to the All-Star break.
The Dogs also came in to Colorado with the third highest score differential in the league (Atlas passed them with their win Friday night).
Offensively, Waterdogs held the No. 1 scoring unit prior to Friday. Leading the charge offensively is midfielder Connor Kelly with nine goals (two of them two pointers) and eight assists.
Defensively Eli Gobrecht and Liam Byrnes have combined for 28 caused turnovers, 32 ground balls, and two points. Long-stick Midfielder Ryland Reese has tallied another 27 ground balls on his own according to the PLL website.
At the face-off stripe, Jake Withers sits at 53 percent on the year with 43 ground balls and three points. His percentage from the stripe is good for fourth in the league.
The Whipsnakes enter Saturday night looking for a win to keep themselves in the race for a top seeding in the PLL playoffs. The top of the standings is thick at the moment, but the Whipsnakes are right there at 4-2 overall.
The score differential for Whipsnakes needs improvement at negative seven, but as wins come the score differential will adjust.
Offensively the Whipsnakes are looking for consistency without Matt Rambo. With him in the lineup, the Whipsnakes averaged 13.33 goals per game, going 3-0 in those games. Since losing Rambo to injury in week three, the Whipsnakes are averaging 9.33 goals per game, going 1-2 in that span.
Outside of their face-off and powerplay units ranking No. 2 in the PLL, the Whipsnakes are bottom half of the league in offense, defense, goaltending, and penalty kill.
Face-off specialist Joe Nardella was named an All-Star in 2021 and is currently facing-off at 60 percent with five points to his credit.