Thursday Round Two Recap: Rhino Revenge

Here’s some recaps of the best action in Thursday’s second round of pool play at the Club Championships:

Revenge! After a crushing universe point loss to Furious George at Northwest Regionals, Rhino got the Canadians back in the second round on Thursday in a game that probably decided power pool placement. Rhino, after trailing 7-3 in the first half and still facing a four point deficit at 11-7, rallied back thanks to stellar play from their superstars Dylan Freechild, Chase Sparling-Beckley, and Cody Bjorkland. Using a nasty four man zone in the high winds, Rhino slowed Furious’ momentum and rattled off six straight points to take a two goal lead. But Furious pushed back after Matthew Berezan caught a break score and took a 15-14 lead when Oscar Pottinger found Andy Collins deep.

But Rhino tied it back up and gutted out a universe point on defense, where Seth Wiggins was doing everything, including catching the game-winner.

What did they do to rally back in the wind? “Well, prayed,” said Wiggins, laughing. “But really the wind helped us out a lot more than it did them…Our zone was able to slow them down.” He added that although they had put their Regionals loss behind them, the win “got the monkey [off their] back.”

PoNY lost another heartbreaker in the second round of pool play on Thursday, falling to Pool D’s top seed, Doublewide, by the score of 15-11. PoNY came out firing on all cylinders — again — after losing a close game to Johnny Bravo earlier in the day. In another game dominate by runs in either direction, PoNY went up 3-1 early, fell behind by half and then brought the game back to 11-10 late in the round. Doublewide called a timeout to stop the bleeding — which worked perfectly — and went on to run away with the game, 15-11.

GOAT had this one looking like they were going to start Nationals — after beating Chain Lightning to start the day — with two straight upsets. Sockeye, though, was not interested in becoming a storyline and stormed back into the game after falling behind 3-2 early on. The Fish would quickly rattle off a handful of points and go on to take half, 8-5. After the break, GOAT battled back and kept the game close until the finish but Sockeye still managed to come away with the victory, 15-13, putting themselves in position to take the pool at the end of day one.

Chicago’s Machine and Raleigh’s Ring of Fire played out a hard-fought second round game. Both teams saw big winds and frequent zone defenses, but continued to throw hammers and scoobers to big effect. The first half saw Ring go up strong, breaking three times to 7-5. Machine was undeterred. They fought back for three straight points to take half 8-7.

Chicago looked poised and calm at the beginning of the second half, leading at 13-10. Winds started to increase and it looked like both teams’ tight focus on upwind throws was wavering. Ring’s D line took control though–making some big plays and converting everything Ring gave them. Ring convincingly closed out that final quarter, nabbing the 16-14 win and getting the important upset over Machine heading into Friday’s pools.

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