Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Portland Asserts Their Dominance, While Philadelphia and San Francisco Grab Key Wins.

Quite a bit of a shakeup after the first week of competition in the MLU. A lot of teams had to shake off the rust that might have formed during the offseason but it still made for three stellar matchups and a blowout win. After a week of play it appears the East might be more up for grabs than everyone else thought. Even with the Whitecaps losing two games, they had one of the top performances of the week considering what they were faced with. In the West, Portland showed that last season was no fluke and dominated Seattle, while the Dogfish got a win that will go a long way for the upcoming season.

1. DC Current: 1-0 

Last Week: 1     Change: +0

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 19-18 in 2OT

Weekend Superstar: Alan Kolick (0 goals, 8 assists)

Review: Still had to workout all the kinks in Week 1 but bottom line they got the victory. It was an exciting matchup between the Current and the Whitecaps this week, which we are now starting to come to expect when these two teams face off. Lets face it though, if Ben Fleming had not come through in the clutch for DC, they might not be sitting in the top spot for the 10 consecutive time.

2. Portland Stags: 1-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +0

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 21-12

Weekend Superstar: Cody Bjorklund (1 goal, 4 assists)

Review: A great start to the season for the Stags who looked better than what I gave them credit for. Portland dominated Seattle on Saturday (they were missing El-Salaam) and showed why they should be the favorites in the West. Everyone for Portland was involved and played "smart ultimate", hopefully the team can stay healthy and build off this win. Oh and here's a shout-out to Cody Bjorklund for not only playing but nabbing four assists in the process with a cast on his throwing arm!

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 1-0

Last Week: 6     Change: +3

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated Boston Whitecaps 22-20

Superstars: Jake Rainwater (4 goals, 4 assists)

Review: As I said in my preseason rankings, this is probably the best opening day roster that the Spinners have ever assembled. It showed on Friday as they stepped up to beat the Whitecaps for the third time in a row. The difference in this one was that the team just came out and straight out beat them. No wind, no luck, just good strong ultimate. This may be the year that the Spinners finally break through. That Jake Rainwater guy also went 40 for 40 in throws while the team only turned it over 10 times.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 0-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +0

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 20-22, lost to DC Current 18-19 2OT

Superstars: Jeff Graham in two games (7 goals, 9 assists)

Review: Despite losing the first two games of the season,  there are a lot of positives for the Whitecaps. An incredible 13 players that were listed as inactive this week, including their top handler Josh Markette. It was rather impressive how well the team did play without a good chunk of their roster. Combined both games were lost by a combined three points and with a healthy roster it will not be that hard to get three points back. However losing the loss of Will Neff, Jon Hirschberger and Rusty Ingold-Smith for the season is a cause for concern.

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 0-1

Last Week: 5     Change: +0

Lost to San Francisco Dogfish 14-15

Superstars: Brendan Wong (3 goals, 1 assist, 2 blocks)

Review: The loss of players to the AUDL showed in the opening week for the Nighthawks. While the team is being led by some of the best in the business, having 20 rookies is a huge obstacle to face. In this game there were a lot of uncharacteristic hucks by Vancouver, just the team was unable to come down with them. It will take a while for Vancouver to return to championship form, but never count them out in any matchup.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 0-1

Last Week: 3     Change: -3

Lost to Portland Stags 12-21

Superstars: Mark Burton (3 goals, 2 assists)

Review:  The Rainmakers learned the hard way that it is tough to win without two of your star players (El-Salaam and Trytiak). The entire team was outworked and looked like an inexperienced team. El-Salaam should return next week and hopefully Trytiak's injury is not that severe otherwise this will not be the lowest Seattle falls.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-0

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 15-14

Superstars: David Abram (2 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: In a new stadium, the Dogfish looked like a whole happier team as they got a great season-opening win over the Nighthawks. Despite the victory I am not entirely sold on San Fran, there were a lot of drops and they allowed Vancouver to come back when they should have been shutting the door. A key for them the remainder of the season should be winning all the home games because if they can do that they will be right in the playoff chase.

8. New York Rumble: 0-0

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

New York Rumble
Bye Week

Superstars: N/A

Review: Well when are the second to last team in the rankings and the only team bellow you wins, you are going to drop to the basement. The adversity that this New York team is already faces does not bode well. Their bye week was probably the worst place that it could happen on the season and then they will face the team that has played the most games thus far in the season. Oh and that game was originally scheduled to be in New York.

This upcoming week, every team will be in action as the Rumble will join the party. Philadelphia will have the chance to prove if they are going to challenge DC for the Eastern Conference title this year. Moving out West, Seattle and Vancouver will face off where one team will get a much needed victory, while San Francisco has the opportunity to rise to the occasion by hosting the Portland Stags.

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

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