The 2017 AUDL regular season comes to an end this weekend. Every team outside the South Division except the Detroit Mechanix will be in action to wrap up their seasons. The DC Breeze will conclude their 2017 campaign on the road against the Philadelphia Phoenix this Saturday at 6:30pm.
This game will be streamed live on the
Philadelphia Phoenix YouTube Channel
The Breeze need no reminder about the last time they visited the City of Brotherly Love. It was one of the biggest surprises in the AUDL East Division this season.
Completing the task at hand will be the main priority for the team this weekend. DC could jump up to the No. 1 seed or fall down to No. 3 in the East depending on the outcome of this and other games, and this one alone will go a long way toward defining those final standings. See the full playoff scenarios for the entire division here.
The Phoenix (4-9) have yet to throw in the towel on the season despite being eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago. Philadelphia enters the game riding a two-game winning streak, its first since 2013. The Phoenix put up 30 points against the New York Empire last weekend, their highest total of the season.
Highlighting the win was Sean Mott (five goals, five assists) who led the game in scoring. All season, Mott has led the team in every statistical offensive category (39 goals, 51 assists, +50 plus/minus). However, Mott has not been quite as productive when taking on the Breeze, resulting in only three goals and five assists combined in the two games. If there was a player to get going and throw a wrench in the Breeze’s plan for the weekend it would be Mott.
As in the second match-up between these two teams, DC (9-4) will have to punch in the opportunities that Philadelphia gives them. On the year, the Phoenix average 25 turnovers a game. They had the same rate of turnovers combined in both games against the Breeze, the difference was in one contest the D-line was able to convert those break opportunities.
Win or lose, immediately after this game the Breeze will begin to prepare for the postseason. The last game for the team was back on June 24, in which the team defeated the Phoenix 25-17. Neither the team leader in assists, Tyler Monroe, nor the team leader in blocks, Rowan McDonnell, played in that contest.
In fact, Monroe’s last Breeze game was way back on June 11 against the Toronto Rush. Getting Monroe back involved in the offense, along with ensuring the team chemistry is still there after the by weeks, will be vital in the effort to lock up a victory.
A win against the Phoenix would guarantee DC at least the No. 2 seed in the East and with that a home playoff game for the second year in a row. DC would still need a Toronto Rush loss at home to New York on Sunday in order to claim the top seed in the playoffs and a first round bye. Either way, though, a 3v2 home game would be a significantly better scenario than the prospect of needing to win two consecutive games in Canada to get to Championship Weekend.
Winning would also tie the 2017 team with the 2016 squads for the best regular season record in team history.