Photo by Pete Guion – Ultiphotos.com
How It Happened: After a significant pregame downpour, the teams took the field and traded goals, with neither team gaining an edge until the seventh point. The Stags looked sharp in the opening period, feeding off the largely hostile crowd to open the game up 5-3 after the first. The Spinners, undeterred by the deficit, dominated the second quarter, outscoring Portland 4-1 before the half ended. As the first half came to a close, it was accompanied by a brilliant flash of lightning. Adhering to MLU’s safety policies, the game entered a weather delay, preventing gameplay from resuming for almost 2 hours. When the players returned to the field they were greeted by frenzied cheers from the largely intact crowd of fans that waited out the delay. With both teams looking to gain the momentum out of the delay, the third quarter started with the Spinners and Stags trading scores until a three goal run by the Spinners put them ahead by four going into the final quarter. While Portland made things interesting in the fourth, outscoring Philadelphia 3-2 in the final 10 minutes, they were not able to complete the comeback before the final buzzer.
Turning Points: After play resumed following the rain delay, both teams traded points, each scoring on their first two possessions. After Philadelphia’s second goal, the Spinners pulled to Portland for what turned out to be a two-and-a-half minute point that saw the Spinners break to begin a three goal run to end the third quarter. The break, made possible by a beautiful Charlie McCutcheon block, energized the Spinners defense and gave the hometown crowd something to feed off of.
Stat of the Game: Two hours. The two hour lightning delay during halftime was one of the most significant factors in this game. While players from both teams remained active, the momentum and energy built up during the first half was definitely reset during the lull. The crowd weathered the storm and was even more raucous when play resumed.
Player of the Game: Charlie McCutcheon. This game was one of those rare occasions in which a shutdown defender also appeared in the boxscore. McCutcheon drew a tough assignment in Western Conference MVP Cody Bjorklund for a majority of the game. Bjorklund, who drawfs McCutcheon to the tune of two inches and 60 pounds, was held to a single goal and a single assist, his lowest scoring output of the season. McCutcheon recorded 2 blocks and scored 2 goals of his own, contributing greatly to the Spinners outbreaking the Stags, 6-3, accounting for the final goal differential.
Quotable: “This game was really interesting…” said Spinner’s Coach Darryl Stanley after the game. “It become such a defensive grind, you know, very fortunately for us we identified some key matchups against Cody [Bjorklund] and Raphy [Hayes] and [Timmy] Perston and [Peter] Woodside. These are guys we gameplanned for… I think we rolled the dice and I think got it right.”
Whats Next: The 2016 MLU season is in the books. We’d like to thank our fans, players, staff and sponsors for another amazing year and look forward to seeing you all in 2017!