VANCOUVER, B.C. – Here is a quick look at the Portland Stags’ 24-20 victory over the Vancouver Nighthawks at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.
How it Happened: Vancouver took the first point in the game when Nighthawks rookies Ari Nitikman found Natham Lam in the end zone. From that point on though, the hosts would fail to find another lead. Portland consistently capitalized on Nighthawks errors and found success going deep against the Vancouver defence. Neither team put together particularly impressive runs, but the Stags maintained a two-point cushion for much of the matchup. When time finally ran out, the visitors had picked up a 24-20 victory.
Turning Point: Portland took the lead early and never looked back. Starting with a Topher Davis to Steven Rice point, the Stags put up four-straight on the hosts. It was neither a blowout, nor a pretty game, but the Stags did what they needed to do to win.
Player of the Game: Cody Bjorklund turned in a stellar game, recording a goal and five assists. His 24 catches on the day were particularly impressive given his playing with a broken arm.
Stat of the Game: 34:24. The length of time Portland continuously held the lead in the game.
Quotable: “Portland was pretty good at shutting down our initial play,” said Vancouver’s Brendan Wong. “We just weren’t quick enough to react and adapt to that. Had a few too many turns and a little too much stagnancy.”
What’s Next: The Nighthawks have a Week 4 bye before heading down to Portland for a rematch on May 16 at 2:00 p.m PT. At 1-2, there’s no need to hit the panic button, but Vancouver doesn’t want to fall into an early season hole. Sitting comfortably atop the Western Conference with a 3-0 record, the Stags will host the San Francisco Dogfish on Sunday, May 10 at 1:00 p.m. PT.