How it Happened: After coming out in the first quarter and trading points, Seattle revved it up. The Rainmakers led 9-4 at the end of the first quarter and never let the Nighthawks come within striking distance of the lead after that. The first half ended 16-6. Vancouver played a better second half, but could not make up the point deficit. The third quarter ended 23-12, and the final score was 28-18.
The Turning Point: In the first quarter Seattle was leading Vancouver 5-3. Luke Jesperson scored a Callahan by intercepting a Nighthawks throw in the end zone for a Rainmakers score. This was a huge mental boost for Seattle, who promptly scored three goals in a row, ending the first quarter up five points on Vancouver with a 9-5 score. In the second quarter the Rainmakers outscored the Nighthawks 7-2 to end the first half at 16-6.
Players of the Game: The player of the game for the Seattle Rainmakers was Evan Klein. He had five goals and two assists to bring him to the top of the Rainmakers leaderboard for scoring (goals & assists) with 17 and for goals with 13. The player of the game for the Vancouver Nighthawks was Mitchell Dozzi-Daigle. He recorded three goals, one assist, and two blocks this game, including a nice block in the second quarter that denied the Rainmakers a score. He is currently leading the Nighthawks in blocks with six for the season.
Stats of the Game: The Offensive Scoring Efficiency (OSE) of the Nighthawks was 36.7% compared to the Rainmakers 60% OSE. The OSE is the percentage of time a team scored during a point they began on offense. The Nighthawks are last in the league for OSE. It is hard for a team to win when they score less than half the time they start on O. The other stat of the game is the Defensive Scoring Efficiency (DSE), a similar stat that counts the percentage of time a team scores when they start on defense. Seattle’s DSE was 53.3%, much higher than Vancouver’s 35%. This statistic is much improved from the Nighthawks previous DSE of 17% for the season before this game, however, showing how much they improved in this game and especially in the second half of this game.
Quotable: “I think we let off the gas a little bit [in the second quarter],” said Rainmaker Christian Brink. “That was just a mental decision. It’s not like we didn’t have legs. We felt like we could coast and they showed us we couldn’t and then we had to work our asses off in the second [half].” Issac Entz said that the Rainmakers will have to play hard the entire game next week in their rematch against the Nighthawks. “They’re going to play fired up next week at home, it’s going to be a tough game. We gotta make sure we… don’t get complacent when we’re up by a couple.” Brink added, “They’re not the kind of team to just roll over. They’re going to fight till the very last second.”
What it Means: Seattle has gotten up to .500 now by winning against the Nighthawks after losing their first two games against the divison-leading Portland Stags. Vancouver continues its losing streak and has a record of 0-5. There were a lot of players missing from the both teams because of the USAU College Regionals tournament today, and the Nighthawks had also played a difficult game against the Portland Stags the day before. The Seattle Rainmakers and the Vancouver Nighthawks will meet again next week on the Nighthawks home turf in Vancouver, with a fully rested Nighthawks squad and a full roster for both teams.