Photo by Brian Chu – Ultiphotos.com
The Rainmakers are looking to get another win against the Nighthawks this Sunday at Renton Memorial Stadium. After losing their first two games against the division-leading Portland Stags, Seattle soundly beat Vancouver last weekend with a score of 19-10. The Rainmakers defense combined with the Nighthawks inexperience kept the Vancouver from scoring more than three points in any quarter of the game. Seattle forced turnovers on 81% of their defensive points against the Nighthawks. The Rainmakers got 10 breaks in the game, including five breaks in the fourth quarter, and their strong defense held the Nighthawks to only one break.
After a slow first quarter of the game, the Seattle offense also picked up. The Rainmakers had a whopping 75% Offensive Scoring Efficiency, or the percentage of the time they started on offense and scored on that point, against the Nighthawks, showing that they were working well on offense as well. The Nighthawks held their own until the fourth quarter, never being down by more than four points until the last quarter. Coming back from a four point deficit is definitely doable, the New York Rumble came back from a five point deficit in the beginning of the third quarter to win against the D.C. Current last weekend. The Rainmakers went on a five point run, however, scoring eight in the decisive fourth quarter against the Nighthawks.
The Rainmakers will have a number of players out for this game. Chris Rupp, Khalif El-Salaam, Ben Wiggins, Drew Lockhart, Peter Bender, and Todd Sliva will not be playing. Rupp, Bender, and Sliva all contributed to Seattle’s win against Vancouver last Saturday. Bender got two goals, with Sliva and Rupp each tallying a goal and a block.
Even with several players out, the core of the Rainmakers remains intact. Two of the main handlers for Seattle are Eddie Feeley and Henry Phan. Feeley is second in the league in Touches Per Offensive Possession (TPOP) with 1.644. Phan has a high TPOP as well at 1.5, and in last Saturday’s game he had one goal and one assist. Brad Houser is now fifth in the league in goals, with 8 scored this season. Houser, Evan Klein, Cam Bailey, and Daniel Trytiak all have more than ten points (goals and assists) this season.
In the previous game against Vancouver, Houser had two goals, Klein had three goals and one assist, Bailey had three goals and two assists, and Trytiak had two goals and three assists. Cam Bailey is second in the league for break goals with 6 to his name and Matt Neeley is third for break assists with 6 as well. In addition, the Rainmakers scored on every point that Steve Gussin played last week – coincidence or leadership from the former Rainmakers coach? His 62.9% Offensive Scoring Efficiency would argue that he is an integral part of the Seattle offensive line.
The Nighthawks will be playing a doubleheader this weekend, playing the Portland Stags on Saturday at home before coming down to Seattle to play the Rainmakers on Sunday. They have ten players who are inactive for the games. David Whitney-Brown’s handling ability will be missed; he had one goal and two assists in last week’s game against Seattle. Expect to see team leaders Graeme Barber, Taylor Nadon, Ty Barbieri and Erik Hunter making an impact on this game. Standout players from last week’s game include handlers Hunter and Barbieri with a goal and 4 assists and a goal and 2 blocks respectively, as well as cutter Barber, with 2 goals, an assist, and 2 blocks.