The Waterdogs won the PLL Championship after an incredible run in the playoffs. Tommy Burch breaks down the game and explains what happened.

PLL Championship Recap – The Waterdogs Shock the World

Utter disbelief. That is the primary thought in my head as the first round of the PLL playoffs came to a close. I was almost sure of each game’s outcome and was almost always mistaken.

The PLL is on the verge of greatness, and they needed one powerful playoff run to secure their place in the future of professional sports. Every week was even more impressive, as the league put all of its strengths into one pot to ensure a victorious journey.

This last game capped it all off. The reigning champions, the last seed in the playoffs losing 8 regular season games, win out to make it to the final game. The Waterdogs, the 2021 regular season champs who lost in the second round of the playoffs, start off slow but heat it up halfway through leading to a dominant PLL Championship run.

The stakes were the highest they have been all season for either team, but there was more on the line for the league itself. The Waterdogs and Chaos duke it out for one final event, ending professional Lacrosse in 2022 with a bang.


They pull it off! This Waterdogs team started off 0-3, the bottom of the barrel. They were fighting for air, and they didn’t have much time to find their rhythm. However, against all odds, they managed to do so.

This game was another mastery of Waterdog Lacrosse. Their offensive mastery was led by the unstoppable duo of Kieran McArdle, Ryan Conrad, and Michael Sowers, combining for an unbelievable 7 goals alone.

This game was won in the middle periods. The Chaos, a formidable playoff opponent, was racking it up against the Dogs in the first quarter. Without even playing a full 4 minutes, the Chaos were up 3-0. It already looked like a dominant win, and I sat watching the game already confident in the Chaos sweep.

Boy, I made a poor judgment call. After going down 4-2 in the first quarter, the narrative promptly flipped. In the second quarter, McArdle found the back of the net twice, which paired with a Ryan Conrad goal to tie the teams at 5.

Halftime of the PLL Championship was here, and the game was at a standstill. Basically, 0-0 coming into the third, there was a looming air of uncertainty in both fandoms. The game was incredibly close, and there was only 24 minutes left to play.

I don’t know what water Ryan Conrad was drinking, but coming into the third quarter, he was firing off. He scored two goals in the period, which contributed to a 4-0 run to start the half. However, a two-point goal from Matt Rees and an unassisted shot by Kyle Jackson brought the end-of-quarter score to 9-8 in favor of the Dogs.

One period left, a one-possession game. The trophy and $50,000 was on the line, and in crunch time, the Dogs delivered. Immediately entering the fourth, Ethan Walker scores on a pass from McArdle. Chris Cloutier of the Chaos rallies back with a goal, leaving the score at 10-9 Dogs with 8 minutes left in the game.

It gets scrappy. Time is winding down and defense is the name of the game. Blaze Riorden and Dillon Ward were holding down the fort, saving 60% of each team’s shots. Then, in romantic fashion, Connor Kelly saves the day. His goal takes the game slightly out of reach, and as the final buzzer sounds, the Waterdogs rejoice the PLL Championship with a win of 11-9.


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