Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Conference Championships Preview and Predictions

Each team has played 400 minutes in the MLU regular season, and in some instances a little bit more, but now we are less than 36 hours away from finding out which two teams will be playing for the second MLU Championship. Only one thing is for sure heading into the games this weekend is that this year will have a completely different feel than last year.

The Eastern Conference features two teams that were here last year, and both feel confident heading into this weekend. The DC Current had to fight and claw in 2013 just to make it to a winner-take-all game to end the regular season and make it to the playoffs, before eventually losing to Boston. This year they have controlled the Eastern Conference with an impressive 9-1 record, using both their high-flying offense and layout first oriented defense to carry them thus far. On the opposite side of the field the Boston Whitecaps 2013 campaign had dynasty written all over it. When the season was said and done they were 12-0 and MLU Champions, no squad had even came close to knocking off the champs that had a +59 point differential in the regular season, but my how things have changed. This season Boston finished at a disappointing 5-5 needing a little help from DC to even put them in this game. However this team has been in this game before and knows how to win a championship.

The Western Conference will showcase two teams that will be making their playoff debuts this weekend in the Portland Stags and Vancouver Nighthawks. Coming into this season both teams had the opportunity to make heavy strides in the Western Conference and even compete for the championship with both San Francisco and Seattle losing some key players on their clubs. In fact coming into this year, the Nighthawks who were 3-7 the previous season, were heavy preseason favorites to be the top team in the West. The season then started poorly for Vancouver starting 2-4, but have now strung together four straight wins and have full momentum heading into this game. Their opponent, the Portland Stags, had a entire reversal from their previous season when they went a dismal 1-9. They are now heading into the Western Conference Championship with home-field advantage and an 8-2 record, going from last to first in the matter of months.

2014 Record: 9-1                                                                                                         2014 Record: 5-5
Home Record: 5-0                                                                                                      Away Record: 1-4

Star Players:                                                                                                                       Star Players:
Alan Kolick: 44Pts, 14G, 30A, 94.6%, 6Ds                                                            Jeff Graham: 47Pts, 27G, 20A, 96.8%, 4Ds
Markham Shofner: 41Pts, 11G, 30A, 85.6%, 5Ds                                            Brandon Malechek: 43Pts, 17G, 26A, 89.8% 1D
Peter Prial: 39Pts, 23G, 16A, 93.0%, 9Ds                                                            Josh Markette: 42Pts, 14G, 28A, 91.0%, 5Ds
Jeff Wodatch: 34Pts, 22G, 12A, 97.4%, 2Ds                                                        Jack Hatchett: 17Pts, 11G, 6A, 88.2%, 17Ds
Calvin Oung: 13Pts, 6G, 7A, 93.4%, 9Ds                                                                  Jim Foster: 30Pts, 19G, 11A, 95.8%, 3Ds

Head-to-Head Record: DC Current lead 2-1
Week 2: DC defeated Boston 18-17
Week 3: Boston defeated DC 17-12
Week 9: DC defeated Boston 21-16

The Lowdown:
Interesting match-up between the DC Current and the Boston Whitecaps for the Eastern Conference Championship. In the three games that they played this season, one was controlled by Boston, one was controlled by DC, and one was an exceptional game that went back and forth that would eventually be the Whitecaps first loss in franchise history. With that all being said, the combined score of all three games is DC 51, Boston 50; extremely close and very difficult to predict. Going into this game the Current are riding a seven game winning streak (3 NY, 3 PHI, 1 BOS) and have outscored opponents 165-122 in the process of that streak. Boston on the other hand is 1-2 over their last three outings and needed the Spinners to lose in the final week of the regular season to make it to this championship. In their games against each other this season Peter Prial (DC) and Jeff Graham (Boston) have been the workforce for their respective teams, minus the Week 3 game where both players missed the match-up. Prial, who is still undefeated in every game he has played in the MLU, earned 12 points total in both games, while Graham had 11 points. For those that do not know, Peter Prial played for the Whitecaps last season, becoming an MLU Champion, and also held the Goals Scored in a Single Season title with 35, before Brendan Wong recorded an incredible 48. Now Prial plays for DC and has made a huge impact as seen in the stats above, creating a rivalry between both of these teams. This will be the eighth match-up where the Current play the Whitecaps and it has the potential for an incredible game. Oh also do not forget that both of these teams have MVP candidates in Alan Kolick and Josh Markette in just another reason to make sure you see this game. Something has to give for one of these teams, but expect one of the most entertaining games of the entire season.

My Pick: DC over Boston 22-20

2014 Record: 8-2                                                                                                         2014 Record: 6-4
Home Record: 4-1                                                                                                      Away Record: 2-3

Star Players:                                                                                                                       Star Players:
Cody Bjorklund: 41Pts, 26G, 15A, 88.9%, 5Ds                                                  Brendan Wong: 64Pts, 48G, 16A, 88.0%, 4Ds
Eli Friedman: 39Pts, 19G, 20A, 95.9%, 5Ds                                                      Morgan Hibbert: 26Pts, 7G, 19A, 87.8%, 20Ds
Jeremy Norden: 30Pts, 2G, 28A, 93.3%, 3Ds                                                   Gagandeep Chatha: 31Pts, 23G, 8A, 86.8%, 1D
Topher Davis: 19Pts, 6G, 13A, 93.5%, 14Ds                                                           Aaron Loach: 29Pts, 9G, 20A, 89.7%, 2Ds
Mark Burton: 32Pts, 18G, 14A, 88.5%, 2Ds                                                        Kevin Underhill: 28Pts, 6G, 22A, 92.5%, 5Ds

Head-to-Head Record: Portland Stags lead 2-1
Week 1: Portland defeated Vancouver 23-21
Week 7: Portland defeated Vancouver 19-16
Week 10: Vancouver defeated Portland 20-18

The Lowdown:
At the end of last year's season it would have been pretty hard to imagine that the two teams who failed to make the playoffs would wind up in the Western Conference Championship the next year. Despite who wins, both teams should consider the 2014 campaign a success, but lets face it, both teams want to win. When these two teams play each other you can expect a thriller with every game so far being decided by three points or less. However when you look at the two teams they could not be more different.  The Portland Stags have one of the strongest lineups in the West, this year 15 of the 26 players that played recorded at least 10 points. With Timmy Perston being gone for most of the season, Cody Bjorklund and MVP candidate, Eli Friedman, have led the team from the start; but looking at the stats you can't help but notice how great they are for a majority of the roster. On the Vancouver side of the disc, they have some strong players on offense and on defense, I'm mainly talking about Brendan Wong and Morgan Hibbert, both MVP candidates and both players who led the MLU in statistical categories. Wong has recorded 22 of his 64 points against the Stags this season, a large imprint since they have only played three times this season, and has shown that he steps up for Vancouver. However for Portland there has been a different player to step up and lead the team each game! Numerous players get into the action and make an impact for the team. Whilst looking into the head-to-head match-ups, it must be taken into account that the Week 10 battle was the second of the weekend for Portland and the night before had already clinched a playoff spot, letting the coaches rest some of their star players. With that all being said, I still expect another great game between the two squads.

My Pick: Vancouver over Portland 25-24

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 Final Power Rankings

Well there you have it, the 2014 MLU regular season has come to a close! This past weekend Philadelphia was unable to defeat the DC Current in order to position themselves into the playoffs, allowing the Boston Whitecaps to take their spot. With the final spot in the 2014 postseason now claimed its time to move on to the conference championship and with that my 2014 Final Power Rankings, no surprise the teams that are still playing are the teams at the top.

1. DC Current: 9-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 21-19

Make that seven straight wins for the DC Current as they marched into Franklin Field to knock the surging Philadelphia Spinners out of the postseason. During the week there was much talk of the Current "throwing away" this game and allowing Philadelphia to win. In doing so, DC would then play Philly again in the championship instead of Boston. Those rumors were then put to rest, while even with mixed lines and reduced playing time from the superstars, with DC's fourth victory over Philly this season.

2. Portland Stags: 8-2

Last Week: 2  Change: +0

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 13-12

While still conserving their role players, the Stags were still able to hold off one of the best offensive teams in the league, the Seattle Rainmakers.  Once again the entire team worked together for the victory, allowing bench players to get improved stats stars to take a rest.  Cody Bjorklund still led the team with four points (two goals, two assists). The team will begin to prepare for the Vancouver Nighthawks next week as they are one of the only teams to defeat the Portland Stags this season.

3. Vancouver Nighthawks: 6-4

Last Week: 3  Change: +0

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 17-15

In a week where a story on the Nighthawks was covered by The National, Vancouver was still able to go into San Francisco and defeat the defending conference champions. Brendan Wong continued his offensive dominance as he broke the regular season points record with 64 this season (48 goals, 16 assists). Vancouver is currently on a four game winning streak, after starting the season with a 2-4 record, and have a huge wave of momentum going into the Western Conference Championship.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 5-5

Last Week: 5  Change: +1

Defeated New York Rumble 21-16

It may not have been the way the intended the season to play out but with Philadelphia's loss and Boston's win on Saturday, the Whitecaps are back into the playoffs. In their match-up against New York that ended up being the game that put them into the playoffs, Jeff Graham looked like a man on a mission as he assisted on six scores, leading all players on both squads in points and assists. This sets up a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Championship where the Whitecaps will defend their Championship Crown.

5. Philadelphia Spinners: 4-6

Last Week: 4  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 19-21

Unfortunately the miracle run for Philadelphia comes to close as they were unable to knock off the DC Current at home. The loss of Jake Rainwater proved costly as the Spinners were struggling to move the disc down the field and would ultimately result in unnecessary throws down-field. However Patrick Earles in the loss was able to collect eight points (four scores and four assists). A bright note to end the season, the were 4-2 against all teams that was not DC in the East and finished better than last season's 3-7.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-6

Last Week: 6 Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 12-13

The spirit from the Rainmakers was clearly broken before the match even started as Seattle misses the playoffs for the first time. Even with a lead the Rainmakers were out of it and could not build on any momentum. With the loss they fall to 4-6 which makes their win total half of what it was a year ago (8-2) and disappointingly could not match their playoff berth.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-8

Last Week: 7  Change: +0

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 15-17

The frustrating season for the San Francisco Dogfish finally comes to an end with a loss to the Vancouver Nighthawks. A common theme throughout the season was missing players for the Dogfish and was a factor again as they were without their best player, Evan Boucher, and could not match-up with Wong and Hibbert on the other side. Losing Beau Kittredge in the offseason was huge this season and hopefully if San Fran can find a new cutter in the offseason, match their 8-2 record and Western Conference Championship from a year ago.

8. New York Rumble: 2-8

Last Week: 8  Change: +0

Lost to Boston Whitecaps 16-21

After a promising start the New York Rumble ended their 2014 campaign on a six game losing streak. Once again the Rumble were unable to play a complete game, allowing Boston to go on a 7-3 scoring run in the final quarter and a half of play. Hopefully New York is able to keep their star players on their roster a build a cohesive unit after a season that was worse than last year's 3-7.

So that will do it for the regular season, there are now only three games left to play and two of them will be this upcoming weekend. Both conference championships will be played on Saturday with both respective winners to face each other in the MLU Championship in Philadelphia. In the East, it will be a rematch of last year's championship except this year DC is the dominating force and Boston was the team that had to rely on a Week 11 win to get in. DC has been undefeated at home this year and will play a huge factor in this the game. The Western Conference Championship will feature two new playoff teams in the Portland Stags and Vancouver Nighthawks. The Stags will host the game but their most recent loss came against the Nighthawks in Week 10 of the regular season, something has to give...

Be on the lookout later this week for my Conference Championships Previews and Predictions on who I think will be the two teams playing in PPL Park on July 19th.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week 10 Power Rankings

To me it feels like each week gets better and better in the MLU, the drama continues to rise, and the competitiveness of the players comes out even more. This week featured fantastic match-ups on the East and West coast and now have made our playoff picture a whole lot clearer. If you missed any of the games this weekend I suggest that you go back and find them now because they were all worth watching.

1. DC Current: 8-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated NY Rumble 21-15

"All I Do is Win" was heard at the end of every home game this season for DC as defeating New York gave them a perfect 5-0 record at home, and gave them their sixth straight victory (the longest in the MLU this season). This game was closer than what most probably expected but with the DC superstars getting a good amount of rest, the Rumble were able to stay in the game a lot longer. With the limited playing time, 21 of the 25 players for DC recorded at least one point with Jeff Wodatch leading the roster with five points.

2. Portland Stags: 7-2

Last Week: 2  Change: +0

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 17-16
Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 18-20

The Stags played two incredible games this weekend against the only two teams that had a chance of playing them in the playoffs. They came away from this doubleheader 1-1, their only one of the season. Jeremy Norden had a combined 11pts this weekend, with nine of them being assists. However after their victory in Seattle, Portland clinched the #1 seed in the West allowing the team to rest some key players and spread the scoring across the board in route to letting Vancouver clinch the last playoff spot.

3. Vancouver Nighthawks: 5-4

Last Week: 3  Change: +0

Defeated Portland Stags 20-18

The preseason favorite Nighthawks, despite their struggles, were able to finally clinch a spot in the 2014 playoffs by defeating the Portland Stags. This game was yet another classic in the Vancouver-Portland series, where the game was tied at 18 with three minutes left to go. When looking at a preview into their Western Conference Championship matchup, it must take into account that this was the second game of the weekend for Portland and they were resting some players. Brendan Wong scored seven more goals, breaking the league's scoring record.

4. Philadelphia Spinners: 4-5

Last Week: 5  Change: +1

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 21-18

After starting the season 1-4, the Philadelphia Spinners have the opportunity to finish the second half at 4-1. A run from Philadelphia that is similar's to DC's run into the playoffs last season; except going into another must-win game for Philly, DC has already clinched a spot. But after their game against the Whitecaps, anything is possible. The Spinners were in control the entire game, holding a three point lead for most of the second half and not allowing Boston's offense to be consistent. The team played like they had to win and it showed.

5. Boston Whitecaps: 4-5

Last Week: 4  Change: -1

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 18-21

After a 10-0 championship season, this season the Boston Whitecaps will finish at .500 or below and might not make the playoffs. Losing this weekend to the Spinners was the first time in franchise history that they lost back-to-back games and the team continues to be winless on the road. The play from the trio of Markette, Graham, and Malechek was not enough to overcome the Spinners fleeting attempt to stay alive in the postseason hunt. With this loss, much to the Whitecaps dismay, they do not control their own fate. In order to make the final playoff spot the must defeat New York and hope for DC to do the same to Philadelphia.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-5

Last Week: 6 Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 16-17

The final five minutes of this game was one of the most exciting, on-the-edge-of your seat moments that a professional ultimate game has ever given me. The game was tied at 15 when Portland won two long points, both that were two minutes plus to take a 17-15 lead. With only 27 seconds now left, Seattle had to score, get a D, and score again.  After an incredible snag by Isaac Entz in the endzone, Seattle still had a faint chance with only 18 seconds remaining. Sam Harkness then perfectly reads the disc to get the D, and the disc gets right in front of the endzone where Kalif El-Salaam turfs a ten yard throw to a wide open teammate. Unfortunately this heart breaker eliminates Seattle from the playoffs and forces them to look ahead to next year.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-7

Last Week: 7  Change: +0


The bye this week will allow San Francisco to alter their game plan, because clearly what they have been doing this season has not worked. The only thing the Dogfish have to play for on Saturday is the chance to get the series win against Vancouver, the #2 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.

8. New York Rumble: 2-7

Last Week: 8  Change: +0

Lost to DC Current 15-21

Well I will give the Rumble some credit, they continue to play despite the results they have been getting this season. Unfortunately for them that the most interesting story from the Big Apple in the second half of the season is that when the MLU season is done, Isaac Saul will play for the New York based AUDL team (the New York Empire).  But in their matchup against DC, they were able to stay in the game throughout the first three quarters, before being outscored 6-2 in the final frame. Once again the Rumble will have the opportunity to play spoiler and prevent the Whitecaps from making the postseason this upcoming week.

So now heading into the final week of regular season play in the MLU, the Western Conference has been decided. Portland will get the #1 seed and play host to the Vancouver Nighthawks (#2 seed). The two teams that made the playoffs last year, the Seattle Rainmakers (3) and San Francisco Dogfish (4), have been eliminated. This week Seattle will travel to Portland and Vancouver will travel to San Francisco to conclude their respective regular seasons. In the East, DC has clinched the #1 seed and will host either the Philadelphia Spinners or Boston Whitecaps in the Eastern Conference Championship Game. But first DC must travel to Philadelphia, in a game that if the Spinners won would give the Spinners the #2 seed. In order for Boston to make the playoffs they must beat New York (4) and hope for a Philadelphia loss.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 9 Power Rankings

This weekend was a must watch in the MLU, every single match-up had playoff implications. Opening the weekend the Portland Stags won against the Dogfish and clinched a spot in the Western Conference Championship, that game was followed up by DC's complete control of the Whitecaps in their first loss in Boston in franchise history. Vancouver put themselves in the driver's seat for the final playoff spot in the West, and then finally on Sunday the Philadelphia Spinners stayed alive in the playoff hunt while knocking the New York Rumble out of the postseason for the second straight season.

1. DC Current: 7-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 22-16

It is officially the Current's Eastern Conference, yes I know they were 6-1 while Boston was 4-3 but we all still thought the Boston had a chance to comeback. In fact if Boston had won, the East would be singing a different tune. Nevertheless, DC clinched the #1 seed and home-field advantage for the conference championship. Their opponent? They probably do not care and will be prepared for whoever it is. I would expect their star players to still play the next two weeks but not play nearly the same amount of points.

2. Portland Stags: 6-1

Last Week: 2  Change: +0

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 17-12

Defeating the Dogfish this weekend put last season's bottom dweller team undefeated, 4-0, against last season's Western Conference Champions. While doing so they clinched their first playoff berth in their two year history.  In this game four Stags were able to rack up four points each, including Lohre, Davis, Kenton, and Burton. There were still some turnovers that Portland needs to eliminate but all the Stags have to do is win one of the final three games to get home-field advantage for the Western Conference Championship.

3. Vancouver Nighthawks: 4-4

Last Week: 5  Change: +2

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 27-12

Last week's game between these two teams was a classic, one of the top 10 games in league history, this week Vancouver did not even give Seattle a chance. Vancouver was in complete control the whole game, very few drops, clean throws, aggressive defense, and every lucky bounce or call went their way. Brendan Wong scored 4 goals bringing his total to 36 on the season and a whopping 50 points, 10 more than second place (Daniel Trytiak 40pts). Three of the team's four wins have been against Seattle as they now hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 4-4

Last Week: 3  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 16-21

This weekend marked the first time a Boston based professional ultimate frisbee team lost in Bean-town. Bringing with that their lowest point total of the season in 16.  When the game started it looked like Boston was the team coming off a seven hour bus ride in getting broken on the first three points to fall behind 0-3.  The Whitecaps simply got out played, DC was laying out all over the field, while Boston failed to run all the way through the disc, misreads etc. However they still control their playoff destiny with a huge match-up against the Spinners upcoming.

5. Philadelphia Spinners: 3-5

Last Week: 6  Change: +1

Defeated NY Rumble 23-22

A huge game from Nick Hirranet that included nine assists, kept the Spinners playoff hopes alive and quite possibly threw his name into the MVP discussion by now being tied with Alan Kolick with the most assists in the league.  From this game I have determined that these teams love playing each other, their combined point total in their head-to-head games was 59-58 with the Spinners scoring one more point. While Boston controls their destiny so does Philadelphia, whichever team wins this upcoming weekend will be the favorite to get the last playoff spot in the East.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-4

Last Week: 4 Change: -2

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 12-27

Two weeks ago I had Seattle as the #2 team in the league coming off their win over the Portland Stags and with momentum to try and fight to the top of the standings. Now they are coming off two straight losses against Vancouver and are outside of the playoffs. However if I were Seattle I wouldn't take this game to heart to much as 16 players were listed as inactive or out for this game.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-7

Last Week: 7  Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 12-17

I know that this is what we have been used to from the Dogfish all season, but it still shocks me at how poorly they played this weekend.  I am still expecting the members that are 2013 Western Conference Champions to step up but it fails to happen week in and week out. The amount of drops from San Fran this game and this season is astronomical and what has been one of the deciding factors in every loss this season.

8. New York Rumble: 2-6

Last Week: 8  Change: +0

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 22-23

The Rumble were so close to ending their three game losing streak in yet another thriller against Philly. In this game the Rumble played their best full four quarters all season, unfortunately in a heartbreaking loss. The good from this game: this team looked like an actual team, there was great flow and every player looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and there were stats from every star player that you expected. The bad: with this loss the Rumble are officially eliminated from the playoffs with two games still to go in the season.

The playoff picture is now more clear with two teams that have clinched playoff spots, two teams that are eliminated and four teams (two in each conference) still battling to get the last spot.  This upcoming weekend there is a huge game in the East when the Boston Whitecaps travel to Philadelphia with the final playoff spot on the line. If Boston were to win they would get the number two seed in the playoffs where if the Spinners won they would control their destiny going into the final week. DC will host New York at home where they have been undefeated the whole season in their regular season home finale. In the Western Conference the Dogfish have off this weekend and the Stags will have the final doubleheader of the regular season. On Saturday the Stags will travel up to Seattle, the only team to defeat them this season, and then on Sunday travel to Vancouver in their final head-to-head regular season game this season.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 8 Power Rankings

MLU play revamped up this past weekend as six of the eight teams played with playoff positioning on the line. The DC Current played at home trying to clinch a berth into the playoffs and also to remain undefeated at home; the Vancouver Nighthawks had an opportunity to gain ground on the Seattle Rainmakers while traveling to Seattle; and the San Francisco Dogfish were trying to remain in playoff contention while playing the conference leading Portland Stags.

1. DC Current: 6-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 22-16

The DC Current got back into the work-grind this week by playing a Spinners squad that saw numerous Pitt Ultimate players make their season debuts. Despite the early scare, in which DC trailed 3-6, they fought back and scored four straight points to make it 7-6 and then went on a 10-1 scoring run to take a 20-11 lead.  Early in the game DC's offense struggled to score and used their defense to carry the weight in this game. The Current's defensive play is going to be pivotal in the playoffs because with this win the DC Current were the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

2. Portland Stags: 5-1

Last Week: 3  Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 20-15

The Stags increased their lead in the Western Conference this weekend to 1.5 games over the Rainmakers by defeating the Dogfish in their largest point differential of the season. The game started off in an exciting back and forth thriller that gave the Stags a 9-7 lead at half.  Portland would then ride that lead til the end of the game that was an entire team effort with 17 of the 22 players recording a point.  Now the Stags will go on a three game road trip as they hope to secure a playoff berth before returning home for the season finale.

3. Boston Whitecaps: 4-3

Last Week: 4  Change: +1


Despite coming off a game 23-6 throbbing of the Rumble, Boston had plenty to work on this bye week.  The win was not in typical fashion of Boston with turnovers and throwaways in a lineup that was ran on an X and Y type of lines rather than O and D lines.  Coming out of the bye week, they are getting prepared for a huge match-up with DC at home that will decide the regular season series between the top two teams in the East as well as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs if DC were to win.

4. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-3

Last Week: 2 Change: -2

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 24-29 2OT

Seattle had a opportunity to all but clinch a playoff spot in the West with a win over the Nighthawks, however it was all for not. It was yet another high scoring thriller between these two teams that needed two overtime periods to decide it.  Danny Trytiak lead the team with seven points (3 scores, four assists) but had a devastating drop in the end zone that would have put Seattle up a break in the first overtime period.

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 3-4

Last Week: 6  Change: +1

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 29-24 2OT

Is this the real Vancouver? Has the real Vancouver finally showed up?The answer is yes but the real question is "are they here to stay?" An incredible battle between Seattle and Vancouver  had to be settled in not one but two overtimes. Even though this was a high scoring affair the difference was Vancouver's defense that was lead by Morgan Hibbert who had six defensive plays, and now puts him in the lead of the MLU with 17. Riding their defensive intensity will be key if they hope to make a playoff push.

6. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-5

Last Week: 5  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 16-22

Honestly I gave the Pitt Ultimate players more credit than I should have, granted they are fantastic players and lead the stat sheet for the Spinners, but they cannot get thrown in and change everything; it takes time i.e. New York. No one in this game scored more than three points for Philadelphia that included over ten minutes of play without a score from Philly.  Despite the loss Philadelphia still has a shot of the playoffs but must win their remaining games and hope for another loss from Boston.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-6

Last Week: 7  Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 15-20

At the very beginning of the season if you told me that the Week 8 matchup between the Dogfish and Stags would feature a 5-1 team and a 2-6 team, I would have thought everything would be reversed.  This week another poor second half was the deciding factor in the game. Leading the team this week was Drew Kim who had 3 goals and 3 assists but the drops from the Dogfish were too much to overcome. With this loss the Dogfish are the first team eliminated from the playoffs.

8. New York Rumble: 2-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +0


Hmmm, New York can make the playoffs with New York defeating the Spinners, Current, and Whitecaps in addition to Boston losing to DC or Philadelphia. Simple right? Well it may seem improbable but the Rumble might make it interesting. I have been waiting all season for the team to put it all together, they have the talent to be a top tier team in the MLU, it just takes time to put everything together. I'm not saying that they will come back because it is highly improbable but expect a better team after this bye week.

All the team are back in action this week with great matchups in the Eastern Conference with top two teams playing each other, DC and Boston, in which DC has the best road record in the league but Boston also being undefeated in Boston. The lower two teams, Philadelphia and New York, will play each other in which the loser will be the first team in the East eliminated from the playoffs and the winner with still a faint shot. In the West both games will be rematches of last week with a change in venues, as Portland travels to San Francisco and Seattle travels to Vancouver.  All of these games will have playoff implications with only three spots left in the postseason and only 3 weeks left.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.