Chicago Loses Both Away Games on Memorial Weekend

-Chicago, IL-

 

This past weekend, ┬áthe Chicago Wildfire took to the road to face the two best teams in the Midwest Division. Saturday’s play was in Madison with a rematch against the Radicals, while Sunday’s trip ventured to Blaine, Minnesota where the boys in blue played the Wind Chill. Given the circumstances of playing back-to-back games, the Wildfire’s box scores do not give justice the valiant effort they displayed, as well as the progress they have made over the season.

With as many strides as the Wildfire has made this season, they’ve had their fair share of setbacks. Injuries continue to pile on for this young team. Offensive handler Trent Kuhl was sidelined moments before Saturday’s game due to a back injury, while defensive handler Judah Newman came off in the third quarter against the Radicals with a strained abdominal muscle. Both were sidelined for the rest of the weekend.

“It sucks losing those two guys. Trent’s a solid handler for the O-Line, and Judah brings a feisty style of play for the D-Line.” Captain Jack Shey said this weekend. Shey acted as stand-in Coach while Head Coach Adrian King, and Assistant Coach AJ Nelson, were not able to make the trip.

“What’s positive to see is the team’s ability to keep playing strong even when guys go down. We have a next man up mentality with this team, and it’s showing that we can still keep ourselves in games with the best in the division.”

The Madison Radicals were missing key players on Saturday, which the Chicago Wildfire quickly took advantage of. For three quarters, the Wildfire led the game, their largest lead coming in the second quarter extending them ahead by three scores. Yet, a couple miscues on offense allowed the Radicals to claw their way back into the game, and eventually win 20-21.

Sunday provided a whole new wave of adversity. Sore legs, short roster, and high temperatures created quite the obstacle course to overcome against the Wind Chill. Minnesota, the only undefeated team left in the league, took the lead early, and never looked back. Even after a strong performance fourth to bring it back, the final score was in favor of the Wind Chill, 20-23.

“They’re really good.” Shey put it honestly.

“Adding Caleb Denecour to their roster doesn’t make things any easier. There’s a reason he’s one of the best goal scorers in the league.”

On the flip side, Mike Pardo and Jeff Weis are proving they can do a fair amount of scoring of their own. The pair accounted for 10+ goals this weekend, something Pardo is usually used to doing on his own. Pardo doesn’t seem to mind sharing the limelight with someone else:

“I like having someone out there to play off of. It used to be AJ (Nelson) that I could cut and work hard with and keep teams on their toes. Jeff has a killer instinct about him that balances his ability to cut for his teammates. He’s exceptional at cutting discipline, and it makes things a lot easier for our offense. It’ll be interesting to see where it takes us as a team.”

What’s interesting to see is this team’s ability to limit scores against them. Sunday’s performance was the second highest scoring game against the Wildfire this season, at 23. The majority of Chicago opponents have been held at (or under) 20 points in a game. Since the first game of the season against Pittsburgh, teams must work for their scores. Low scores show that a longer amount of time is spent on offense. More time usually means an offense has to expend more energy in a given point. This correlates to more opportunities for mistakes and potential turns. If Chicago can start to take better advantage of these turns, then we can begin to feel more optimistic about final box scores in the future.

This Saturday the Wildfire take on the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds at Lane Tech Stadium. Game starts at 7pm. Come out and support the boys as they try and add another W to their win column.

 

 

T.K.

 

May 30, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0

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