Monday, May 11, 2015

Stags Become the League's Top Dog, as the Current Drop Two Games

For the first time in almost a year, the DC Current are not on top of Major League Ultimate. The winning streak ended at 11 games, making it the second highest streak in the MLU's three year history. Also for the first time in the league's history neither the DC Current or the Boston Whitecaps are atop the Eastern Conference, it is the founders of them all - the Spinners! This of course happened the Spinners hit their bye week. Another interesting fact, in every Eastern Conference match-up the home team has come away the victor. On the West coast there was only one game where the Stags further separated themselves from the rest of the pack with a win over the Dogfish.

1. Portland Stags: 4-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 23-17

Weekend Superstar: Timmy Perston (6 goals, 1 block)

Review: This week the Stags proved why I should have moved them up to the top spot last week. Portland manhandled the Dogfish at home, committing only 11 turnovers and controlling the game. There was going to be no doubt who came on top of this matchup as the Stags are looking to runaway with the West, similarly to Boston and DC in the East the previous two seasons. On top of that, every Stags player was able to see action this week, with the lowest amount of points played being five by Dan Shaw.

2. Boston Whitecaps: 2-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +2

Defeated DC Current 21-16

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Graham (5 goals, 1 assist)

Review: Taking advantage of their home turf, Boston was able to enact revenge on the Current for their Week 1 2OT loss. This win puts their three year record at home an MLU best at 12-1. The Whitecaps were able to come together as a team, allowing coach Sam Rosenthal to use his entire roster. The defensive unit looked like the dominant one from 2013, breaking the superstar offense of DC eight times throughout the match.

3. DC Current: 2-2 

Last Week: 1     Change: -2

Lost to Boston Whitecaps 16-21, lost to New York Rumble 13-16

Weekend Superstar: Peter Prial (6 goals, 2 assists, 4 blocks)

Review: Many knew it was going to be tough for the Current to survive this weekend unscathed but few expected them to go 0-2. Scheduling wise it was not the worst time for it to happen, maybe gives the team a wake up call early on in the season. Losing both games leaves the East wide open for anyone's taking. And Mr. Undefeated (Peter Prial) lost not only his first game but his second as well in the span of two days.

4. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-1

Last Week: 3     Change: -1

Philadelphia Spinners

Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: Awkward weekend for the Spinners, the fall down in the rankings but sit atop the Eastern Conference all by themselves. This is the first time in league history that the Spinners have accomplished this mark. They now hit a key part in the schedule with two road games in a row, first against Boston and then against DC, where the team now has to prove they belong at the top.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 1-2

Last Week: 5     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: Alright, this team has had three games and a bye to figure out the pieces they have lost in the offseason. From here on out there is no more excuses in that department as far as the Rainmakers are concerned. I know I mention it every week, but also Khalif El-Salaam has yet to play this year.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-2

Last Week: 6     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: These guys are in the same boat as the Rainmakers. No more excuses for this team, what you have is what you are stuck with. The Nighthawks are also in a different boat as the Rainmakers because they have Morgan Hibbert, Brendan Wong, and Kirk Savage leading the way who already knows what it takes to go to the MLU Championship.

7. New York Rumble: 1-2

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

New York Rumble
Defeated DC Current 16-13

Weekend Superstar: Chris Kocher (2 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: In what was the team's best performance of the year, the Rumble defeated the powerful DC Current to earn the team's first victory. Hopefully this is what a full roster does to New York and what we can expect in future games. However, do not jump on the bandwagon just yet, it is only one win but it does give them the opportunity to compete for the team's first postseason appearance.

8. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-3

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

Lost to Portland Stags 17-23

Weekend Superstar: Gabe Saunkeah (3 goals, 2 assists)

Review: Considering the obstacles had to overcome, the Dogfish made it respectable with the Stags this weekend. The team was missing defensive starters David Abram and James Yeager, along with one of the top offensive handlers, Matt Kissman. Only having three recorded blocks does not bode for for the team either, it is near impossible to have a ineffective defense and win a professional game.

The league will return to full-field action, with no teams on a bye. Three home teams will be able to avenge an earlier loss in the season. The Current will get a rematch against the Rumble, while Boston has the chance to win their third game in a row hosting Philadelphia. In the West, Portland will host the rematch of the Western Conference Championship with the Nighthawks coming to town for the first time this season. The other game will be a battle to stay to stay out of the basement of the conference. Bottom line at the end of this weekend we will know who will be the favorites to make the playoffs.

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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