Seattle dropped the series with another bitter loss to Vancouver, further jeopardizing their playoff hopes.
The day began brightly enough with a break score by Bryson Uhrig-Fox for the Rainmakers, but that would be the only lead they established throughout the game. Vancouver scored seven quick goals, four of them breaks, to take a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Undaunted, the skeletal Rainmakers roster would try to soldier on, but the second quarter went even worse as Vancouver continued to hammer on them with physical marks and quick goals, including bookends by Myles Sinclair and some solid work by Jordan Tessarolo. As the half was drawing to a close, a lazy throw off the pull was knocked away by Eddie Feeley, and Alex Duffel, who was playing with impaired vision that day, surprised everyone – including himself – by catching the score. In the final moments of the quarter, a last-second huck by Danny Trytiak was caught by Isaac Entz over the Vancouver defender who has caused Seattle the most trouble this year, Morgan Hibbert, to end the quarter down 13-8.
By the third quarter, the situation was not out of hand but things were looking grim. For the first goal in the second half, Vancouver’s Brendan Wong bobbled the disc in the end zone and was rewarded with a score call from the referees. The Rainmakers bemoaned the call and will surely be pointing at the tape this week as evidence for a challenge. Things only got worse after a few execution and decision errors forced the coaching staff to bench Trytiak for the rest of the game. Seattle scored only one point in the quarter, another buzzer beater for Entz from Sam Pickel, and would go into the final 10 minutes trailing 19-9.
Seattle was unable to recover from this massive deficit, but they never hung their heads or stopped playing. This marks the final game for Matty Zemel, who shined with a goal and three assists. Max Barowski, who was promoted from the practice squad for this game, got a goal in his MLU debut off a huck from Feeley late in the game. Gavin McKibben also had himself a good day, scoring four of Seattle’s 12 goals and completing all but one of his 40 throws. McKibben was awarded the Spirit of the Game award from the Vancouver Ultimate League alongside Vancouver’s Allan Cowan.
Despite the scoreboard, Seattle took a few items to heart into the locker room before packing up for the long ride home. First, the team rose to the challenge presented by a diminished roster of just over a dozen active players. The physical and mental effort put forth by the squad of 15 players was simply incredible.
“I want to commend the effort and the energy put out by this team,” said head coach Steve Gussin.
Second, they proved that they can beat the buzzer just as much as Vancouver can, and against the Nighthawks star defender to boot. Finally, the team’s mentality was markedly unaffected by the shellacking they’d just received.
“We’ve already put this game behind us,” said Gussin. “We’re sticking to our system, focusing on ourselves and getting ready to take on the Stags.”
“As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “this game never happened.”
The Rainmakers host the Stags on Saturday, June 14 for their final home game of the 2014 season.