Photo by Justin Ho – Ultiphotos.com
The Nighthawks (0-2) head to Seattle to take on the reigning conference champion Rainmakers (0-2).
A meeting between the last two Western Conference Champions (Vancouver in 2014, Seattle in 2015), both teams are looking to get back on track and get that elusive first victory. Started in 2014, the Border Bid is an annual matchup between the Nighthawks and the Rainmakers to coincide with DiscNW’s Spring Reign tournament. So far in the series, each team has taken one of the contests, with the Rainmakers winning the inaugural event in 2014, and the Nighthawks winning last year.
The Nighthawks have started the season with two big loses to San Francisco Dogfish and Portland Stags, losing by double digit goals to both. That said, the games couldn’t have been more different. In the opener against San Francisco, most of the young Nighthawks were seeing their first taste of the professional game, leading to a completion percentage of only 79.2% and an incredible 40 turns. Against the Stags last weekend, the team made strides, completing 90.4% of their passes and only losing the disc 29 times to a historically potent Stags defense.
Fans can look for veterans Erik Hunter and Taylor Nadon to lead the way, with rookies Graeme Barber and Ty Barbieri continuing to make their mark as well. The team will be without a few promising young players this weekend such as Sascha Lo, Victor Cheng and Mitchell Dozzi-Daigle.
Seattle, the reigning conference champions, has suffered two very different loses to the Stags so far this season, but have plenty of good to focus on heading into their matchup with the Nighthawks. Despite getting beat badly during Opening Weekend, the Rainmakers held the lead against the Stags for most of their Week 2 rematch, only allowing Portland to take control in the closing minutes, becoming the only team this season to give the Stags a run for their money. Veterans Brad Houser, Eddie Feeley, and Evan Klein could have big games, but the Nighthawks will catch a break with the news that Khalif El-Salaam will be inactive for this weekend’s game.
For a young team of Nighthawks, the most promising sign of things to come will be an improved performance this week, building off what they have done in previous weeks and potentially taking advantage of an overconfident veteran Rainmakers team that was unable to bring home a win with a late lead last weekend.
Played in Mt. Vernon, Washington the Border Bid is a chance for Nighthawks fans to travel with the team to a relatively nearby road game. First pull is scheduled for 6:30pm, tomorrow April 23. Get your tickets here, or watch the game as it happens via MLU Live!