Breeze Clinch Playoff Berth w/ 2OT Win over NY

Wodatch and Wodatch with Breeze hype man Parker Grissom

The Breeze beat the New York Empire Saturday night 27-26 in double overtime for their 3rd 1-point win in three tries against NY this season and a spot in the 2016 AUDL playoffs. This marks the 2nd 2OT win over NY, the 3rd 2OT game overall, and 5th game decided by 1 point out of 12 total games in what has certainly proven to be a gut-wrenching season. Ottawa sits two games back in the loss column and the Breeze have two to play, but the Breeze hold that tiebreaker so can no longer be caught by the Outlaws. This was also a key win to keep the Breeze in the driver’s seat for 2nd place and a home playoff game ahead of top challenger New York. The Empire are now one back in the loss column and had already relinquished the tiebreaker to the Breeze in their previous matchup, meaning the Breeze need only one win in their last two to take 2nd place in the East.

New York charged back from a late deficit to force the 1st overtime with a miraculous Ryan Drost hammer through a midfield double team as time ran out. They then broke the Breeze to start overtime, only to be broken back and once again get a last-second goal to force the 2nd overtime. With the disc to start the sudden death 2OT, it looked like the spell might be broken for NY against DC this season. But it wasn’t meant to be… a pick call sent the the celebrating Empire back to the sidelines after apparent victory, then a throwaway gave the disc back to the Breeze. After a timeout, it was an Alan Kolick backhand huck to Matt Kerrigan in the end zone that ended the game in favor of the Breeze. The Empire argued that Kerrigan had intentionally forced contact as he tried to box out his defender just before the catch, but the referee disagreed.

Ryan Drost throws a half-field hammer as time runs out to force overtime

In a game broadcast live on ESPN3 as the AUDL Game of the Week, Jeff Wodatch once again led the Breeze in goals with 5 to go along with 4 assists. Kolick led the team with 5 assists, while Wodatch and Kolick shared plus-minus honors at 7. Matthew “Rowan” McDonnell paced the defense with 4 blocks. The game also featured a brother vs brother matchup with Wodatch and his younger brother John, who recently joined the Empire after a Nationals-appearance campaign with UConn.

Breeze Handler Markham Shofner puts a 77-yard flick huck on a dime to Wodatch for the score…

Game Highlights

Full Game Broadcast: ESPN3 | YouTube

Over on Instagram…

First point of the game: Liu to Kerrigan. 1-0 BREEZE #catchthebreeeze #breeze2016

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The boys watching some halftime entertainment by Scott Zimmerman and Jack Cooksey

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