Photo by Scott Houghtaling – UltiPhotos.com
Seattle (4-3) makes the trip to Vancouver (3-4) one last time to see if they can even out the series and remain above 0.500, but prospects look grim as they field their smallest active roster to date.
The Rainmakers are experiencing woes similar to those of their inaugural season, when active players were whittled down to 60% of the total Seattle roster. Adam Simon and Donnie Clark, the Rainmakers connection, are each out this week with injuries (hip flexor and achilles, respectively), and defensive rockstars Henry Phan and Reid Koss are inactive as well. With less than two full lines of healthy active players, this will be a trying weekend all around. Still, the Rainmakers refuse to make this week an exception when it comes to effort.
“It is going to be a quiet bus ride back because we will be leaving it all on the field,” said Eddie Feeley. “We will have a much smaller roster in terms of numbers than any other week of the season. I’ve spent the week mentally and physically preparing to be on the field a lot.”
Despite the low numbers, the Rainmakers have not planned to adjust the field strategy significantly. This is because rather than preparing for particular opponents, the Rainmakers have spent the better part of this season turning their gaze inward and focusing only on what they can control.
“While its unfortunate that we’re taking so few north with us, we’re trying to keep the focus on the players we’ll have,” said Bryson Uhrig-Fox. “When it comes to game time we don’t want to be thinking about how we could’ve used missing players, we’ll be thinking about how to use what we have. And the roster we’re bringing is still plenty talented.”
But with Simon and Mario O’Brien riding the bench, there’s a good deal of weight on the shoulders of handlers Gavin McKibben and Chris Rupp to run Seattle’s offense. With Danny Trytiak missing downfield, it is looking more and more likely that Vancouver’s main defensive threat, Morgan Hibbert, will match up on towering Rainmaker Isaac Entz.
Seattle’s usual defensive strategy takes a long term approach to points, forcing opponents to make more and more difficult throws as they move downfield. However, because of the shortened roster and the need to save legs, they may elect to go with man defense and some tricky double teaming in order to quickly generate turns.
“Vancouver is a tough team to beat even with a full strength roster,” said Feeley. “We certainly aren’t making it any easier with our small roster for this game.”
Despite dwindling active player list, the team remains unfazed and as stalwart as ever.
“We may have a small roster this weekend, but we are heading up to Vancouver ready to compete,” said Feeley. “Everybody who steps on the field Saturday will be working to execute our game plan.”
For Rainmakers fans who elect to stay below the 48th parallel, this contest will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. (PDT).