ECC 2012: Saturday Review and Sunday Stories

Saturday’s action at the Emerald City Classic most certainly lived up to the hype. The sunny — frankly perfect — day in Seattle was filled with upsets, blowouts, comebacks and a crazy number of double game points. Here are some highlights from the first day of play and stories to watch play out tomorrow:

Rhino. Wow.

Portland’s squad finished the first day of play as the only team left without a loss and they got there in truly remarkable fashion. Rhino managed to pull off the 4-0 record while outscoring opponents by a total of 4 points. Every single game came down to universe point and each one ended with Rhino on top. In two of these instances — against Ironside and Machine — they were responsible for their opponent’s only loss on the day, further demonstrating how impressive the feat really was.

Leading the pack going into Sunday, Rhino is in perfect position to secure a spot in the finals. The team’s two remaining opponents — GOAT and Subzero — both had underwhelming performances on Saturday. If Rhino plays with half the grit they’ve shown so far it should be smooth sailing straight to the ECC title game.

Ironside gets revenge.

In a rematch of last year’s Club Championship final, Ironside took down Revolver by the score of 13-11 on its way to a 3-1 record for the day. It was the first meeting between the two teams since Revolver dealt Ironside its only defeat of 2011 in the season’s final game and the Boston squad appears to be holding a grudge. In particular, the Ironside offense was dominant; Revolver only scored once when starting on defense. Ironside took control of the game early and never let up until hard cap went on.

Doublewide looks fine.

The boys from Austin showed they still have some serious firepower without Kurt Gibson and Brodie Smith in the lineup. Finishing 3-1 on the day, including two blowout victories over Voodoo and Sub Zero, who they beat 15-2 and 15-6, respectively, the team effectively put any questions about its depth to rest. Doublewide’s only hiccup came against Ironside in their final game of the day, where they were humbled in a 15-5 trouncing. Still, this team looks poised to be in the mix for a spot in the title game on Sunday, something a team missing its two best players shouldn’t be able to do.

Revolver finishes strong. 

When you’re defending a title, everyone gives you their best shot. And after cruising past Furious George in the first game they’ve played stateside this season, Revolver spent the rest of the day being put to the test. Ironside proved to be too much for the reigning champs but the San Francisco squad managed to pull out close victories over PoNY and Sockeye — in Saturday night’s exhibition match — to bring their record to 3-1. With Machine and Doublewide still left on the schedule for Sunday, Revolver’s third ECC title in four years will certainly have to be earned.

Sunday’s fight for a spot in the finals. 

Unlike more traditional tournament formats, ECC’s round-robin system moves straight from pool play to the title match. The two teams with the best records after their six scheduled games will then battle for the ECC crown. This puts a lot of pressure on teams to finish strong. A small slip-up could end a team’s chances, giving every game on Sunday an elimination-feel.

Rhino is certainly in the best position to secure a spot in the finals. The team came out of Saturday alone at the top of the standings and its two remaining opponents are fairly favorable. At this point, anything less than a trip to the finals would seem like a disappointing ending for the club.

The favorite to fill the second spot in the title game is much less clear. Four teams sit at 3-1 after Saturday’s games — Ironside, Revolver, Doublewide and Machine — and they each have at least one game remaining against another member of this group. That should make for some exciting showdowns; who wins is anyone’s guess.

  1. Wes Cronk
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    Wesley Cronk is the Vice President of Business Development of Ultiworld. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, he started playing ultimate in high school and split his college ultimate between the University of Florida and New York University. He has played open club with Vicious Cycle (Gainesville) and Fox Trot Swag Team Unity (New York). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. You can reach him by email (wes@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@wescronk).

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