How it Happened: The Rainmakers got two breaks to jump out to an early 5-2 advantage over the Nighthawks. After taking a 3-2, Seattle never relinquished their advantage. Taking a 12-8 lead into halftime, the Nighthawks came out with some fire in the third quarter and ended up taking the quarter from the Rainmakers, 6-4. Seattle took a 16-14 advantage into the final quarter and held on to win 21-15 and improve to 3-2 on the season, sending the Nighthawks to 0-6. Khalif El-Salaam and Brad Houser led the way for Seattle, notching six assists and four goals, respectively.
Turning Point: With the Nighthawks trailing 16-14 with just under 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Vancouver’s Ted Chu was unable to catch a blade slicing his way in the end zone that would have pulled the Nighthawks within one of Seattle. Instead, El-Salaam found Houser for a score and a Seattle hold to push their lead to 17-14.
Stat of the Game: 5.6% vs. 31.8% – The Defensive Scoring Efficiency (DFSE) of Nighthawks vs. the DFSE of the Rainmakers. The Nighthawks were able to score just 5.6 percent of the time that they started on defense against Seattle, earning just a single break throughout the course of the game. The good news for Vancouver is that they converted a season best 63.6 percent of their offensive points, but they were unable to contain an even more explosive Seattle offense with El-Salaam back in the fold.
Player of the Game: The aforementioned El-Salaam, playing for the first time since Week 1, was the best player on the field. He finished with six assists and a pair of goals in his return to the Rainmakers and undoubtedly made his MLU Fantasy owners, who missed him dearly the last three weeks, happy.
What it Means: For Seattle, it places them in sole possession of second place in the West after San Francisco’s loss to Portland earlier today. At 3-2, their head to head matchups against San Francisco will still determine who makes the playoffs and squares off against the Stags who have all but wrapped up the top spot in the West. For Vancouver, it’s back to the drawing board. But the drawing board has more positives to work from after this week. Their offense looked stellar at times against the Rainmakers and it was poor decision making rather than the inability to move the disc against Seattle that doomed them in Week 5. Both teams get much needed bye weeks in Week 6 and will return to action on May 21 and May 22nd.