Photo by Michael Bury – Ultiphotos.com
The Rainmakers play the division-trailing Nighthawks this weekend in Vancouver, Canada. The Nighthawks just chalked up their first win of the season last weekend in a tight game against the San Francisco Dogfish that went into double overtime. The Nighthawks will surely be hungry for a second win at home in Thunderbird Stadium. Meanwhile, the Rainmakers are gunning for a spot in the Western Conference Finals and will try for another win to help secure their place in the championships. Though Vancouver has been knocked out of the running, Seattle is battling against San Francisco to see who will play the Portland Stags, who have secured their spot already.
Seattle’s inactive players for this game are Callahan-nominated Khalif El-Salaam, strike handler Daniel Trytiak, defensive scorer Matthew Neeley, and Christian Brink. Daniel Greeley and Jonathan Masler are listed as probable to play, and handler Gavin McKibben is listed as questionable. The Rainmakers signed a new handler, Daniel Walton, to help pick up some of the slack left by injured players . The Nighthawks have five players on the injured/inactive list, including Gyorgy “Arturo” Aponte, who is Top 5 in both scoring and blocks for the Nighthawks.
The Rainmakers have been working to make their team stronger in all quarters of the game, but have been focusing on the fourth quarter. They have also been adding the vertical stack to their offense, which was previously focused on the horizontal stack. The Rainmakers and the Nighthawks both have a handler-centric offenses that look for swings and resets. They have the highest Touches Per Offensive Possession (TPOP) numbers in the MLU, with Vancouver at 6.223 and Seattle at 6.015, so expect to see a lot of passing this game. Coach Kate Kingery says that on defense, “we continue to develop our tight, aggressive person defense, while possessing the disc and scoring after every turn.” Kingery also says that the Rainmakers are trying to play each game on its own, and that they “have not started to discuss the post season yet.” The Nighthawks will have the advantage of not travelling this game, and they come fresh off their first win of the season. It is sure to be a competitive and interesting game.
First pull is scheduled for 6:00 pm PT at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and the game will be available online via MLU Live!