The Vancouver Nighthawks find themselves third in the MLU Power Rankings after a 26-15 thrashing of the San Francisco Dogfish. After a season that saw the squad go 3-7, the resounding victory over the Dogfish served notice to the rest of the league that the Nighthawks have no intention of bringing up the rear again this year.
“You have to beat the best to be the best, and as of yet we haven’t really done that. We don’t deserve any accolades at this point in the season,” said D Line star Morgan Hibbert. “Third is fair.”
Inasmuch as Hibbert’s comments are correct, the show the Nighthawks put on over the weekend was the kind of beatdown you expect the top teams to produce. Though aided by some early Dogfish drops, the Nighthawks “D” was consistently solid all game long and the scoreboard was a good reflection of the offensive prowess demonstrated by Vancouver.
A key player in the victory was Brendan Wong who put up an astounding 10 points (seven goals, three assists), combining with Gagan Chatha and Kevin Underhill on multiple occasions; look for this trio to continue their early success as the season continues. While Wong was the standout, the strength of the Nighthawks this year may be their depth; a remarkable 22 players recorded at least one point. The consistency through the lineup showed on defence as well, with 11 players, led by Hibbert’s three, recording at least one D.
Third, as stated by Hibbert, is fair. The DC Current are 2-0 and the defending champion Boston Whitecaps are 1-1. Until the Nighthawks have proven their mettle against the finest the league has to offer it’s difficult to find fault with their current placement. While a win against the Portland Stags in their opening game might have pushed them up the rankings, Hibbert hasn’t given a second thought to their rematch on May 24th.
“I only know who we play next; I never look any further than that. So at this point I have no idea when we play the Stags next and thus it isn’t circled in the calendar. Right now I am completely focused on the Rainmakers and the game this weekend. It is a very important game for us and it is important to stay focused on the next most immediate task.”
It takes a season of work to win a championship, but you can’t play a season in one night. One game at a time is the way to go, and the Nighthawks appear to be on the right track.
The Nighthawks next home game will be against the Seattle Rainmakers at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday, May 10 at 7 p.m..