Photo by Scobel Wiggins – UltiPhotos.com
The Rainmakers gear up for the final weekend of the season with an away game on Saturday in Vancouver and a home game on Sunday against San Francisco.
Seattle continues to be plagued by injuries — Phil Murray and Mario O’Brien both with a broken foot, Matty Zemel with an ankle injury, and Allan Laviolette and Seth Wiggins each with a broken wrist — so each game is a battle against fatigue. The Rainmakers are heading into the home stretch of the their season with a daunting two-game weekend with an active roster of only 17 players.
Saturday vs. Vancouver
Vancouver goes into their final game of the season with three wins, six losses, and a point differential of -15, certainly not the record they were hoping to achieve. Seattle has beat them three times now, twice at home (14-12 in the season opener back in April and 18-16 in mid May) and once in the ‘Couv (21-15 in late May), so Saturday’s match-up will cap off the rivalry and is sure to be a barnburner. Neither side’s standings will be dramatically affected by the outcome, so it’ll be all about pride.
Last time, Vancouver jumped ahead in the first half but fell behind after a 6-point run by Seattle in the third quarter. But with Seattle’s light roster, the Nighthawks have an excellent opportunity to steal the game in the second half. They’ll need to strike quickly and, if they can put the Rainmakers in a hole again early, Seattle won’t have the legs to pull out a win. A win at home wouldn’t be a bad way to end the season for the Nighthawks.
On the flip side, if Seattle wants to come home with a win on Saturday night, they’ll need to be a bit more conservative and efficient with the disc — a task that will prove difficult given that with both Danny Karlinsky and Mario O’Brien out they are down to only two of their four main handlers — and avoid getting broken as multiple consecutive points for the O-line could have a cascading effect on their ability to get back into the game.
Sunday vs. San Francisco
This will be Seattle’s last chance to put together a semblance of mental toughness against the Dogfish (7-1; +36) before the playoffs. The Rainmakers have fallen to them twice, both times in San Francisco (14-16 in early May and 15-16 just last week), and both times were almost identical: Seattle went up big in the first half and then buckled under San Francisco’s pressure man defense. It should be very interesting to see how the Dogfish handle being the away team this time around. And don’t forget that the Rainmakers’ final game on Sunday afternoon will ‘80s themed, so San Francisco will also need to be ready to contend with some rowdy Seattle fans.
Seattle will be tired after their Saturday evening game against Vancouver whether they win or not, and San Francisco will be looking to capitalize on this by running them every chance they can. Seattle will really need to dig deep for this one, if not for the win then at least to show the Dogfish that they won’t get off scot-free in the playoff game the following week.
Advance tickets for groups and individuals can be purchased here. Let’s make it rain!