After playing in the friendly and familiar confines of their home stadium last night in a thrilling 18-17 loss to San Francisco Dogfish, the Vancouver Nighthawks will hit the road today to travel to Portland for their first meeting of the season with the Stags on Sunday night.

Though they will be pleased they played so well, the Nighthawks will immediately have to put that game out of their minds to focus on Portland. This shouldn’t be too difficult for an experienced squad whose players are accustomed to playing two or more games per day at national and world championship tournaments. And the Nighthawks are hungry for a win after two close losses.

Fortunately for Vancouver, Portland also played last night in Seattle, so the teams will have similar levels of fatigue and wear and tear. Whoever can recover the most quickly will have an advantage tonight.

Says co-captain Oscar Pottinger, “The team will take care of ourselves after the game Saturday night. A lot of hydration and a good sleep should have us ready to play the Stags after the Dogfish contest. But for now we’re really just thinking about our first match-up. Get through that with a win and think about the Stags afterwards.”

Coach Lugsdin puts the physical challenge in context.

“On one hand it’s tough with the travel between the games. On the other hand, we’re pushing these guys to be the best players in the world and they’ll just have to deal with it and find a way to be at their best anyway. I know that we’re not a team to make excuses so I think we’ll bounce back fine and completely ready for the game on Sunday.”

If you REALLY enjoyed yourself at last night’s Nighthawks’ home opener at Thunderbird Stadium and feel like a road trip, head down to Portland for Sunday night’s game. It starts at 6 pm at Theodore Roosevelt Athletic Complex at Theodore Roosevelt High School.

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