The 2017 American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) championship weekend in Montreal is set with the four teams who clinched their division titles last weekend.
West Division: San Francisco FlameThrowers 33, Los Angeles Aviators 22
The FlameThrowers clinched a bid in their first AUDL Championship Weekend with a win over the Los Angeles Aviators. Joel Schlacht lead the FlameThrowers with eight goals and four assists. The FlameThrowers fell short in the Division Finals last season when they lost to the Seattle Cascades.
East Division: Toronto Rush 29, DC Breeze 26
The Rush once again held off the Breeze in the East to advance to their 5th straight AUDL Championship Weekend. Mark Lloyd lead the Rush with three goals and four assists and two blocks. The Rush edged the Breeze 23-21 in overtime last season.
Midwest Division: Madison Radicals 27, Pittsburgh Thunderbirds 22
The Radicals and Thunderbirds are no strangers in the postseason as the Radicals won their third straight meeting to advance to their 5th straight AUDL Championship Weekend. Peter Graffy had four goals and four blocks in the game.
South Division: Dallas Roughnecks 27, Raleigh Flyers 24
The Roughnecks earned a repeat trip to the AUDL Championship Weekend with their win over the Flyers. The Roughnecks will be looking to repeat as AUDL champions.
The semifinals games will be played on Saturday, August 26th with Madison facing San Francisco. Dallas will play Toronto in the other semifinal.
I apologize for the lack of detail in the game reports as the league website and Facebook sites do not do a good job with that. The league needs to do a better.
The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds are used to playing these kinds of games in the playoffs. In 2015, they edged Chicago 24-23 in overtime and last season they beat Minnesota 20-18 in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) playoffs.
On Saturday, they overcame a five goal deficit on the road to once again hand the Minnesota Wind Chill an early exit in the playoffs.
The Thunderbirds won 26-25 to advance to the Midwest Division final this weekend at Madison.
Minnesota had the crowd and the lead on their side for much of the game in what was the first playoff home game in the franchise’s five-year history. The Wind Chill took a decisive 4-0 lead from the get go thanks to their tenacious defensive play, and steady offensive execution. The highlight of the first half came with with seven seconds remaining in the second quarter. Minnesota defender Dylan DeClerck burst on a Pittsburgh pass for a layout block, and then continued his energy into the momentum for the bookends score and the 15-11 Wind Chill lead.
But Pittsburgh continued to hang tough throughout the contest. Despite trailing 18-13 midway through the third quarter, the Thunderbirds offense continued to find their rhythm while the defense dug deep to produce opportunities late in the game.
Following a Minnesota goal that put the score at 23-19, the Thunderbirds went on a 6-0 run during the fourth quarter to take the decisive lead. Max Thorne contributed on three scores during the rally, and finished the game with a team-high four assists and seven goals.
There will be a full slate of playoff action this weekend:
Friday, August 11
Saturday, August 12
- Dallas at Raleigh
- Pittsburgh at Madison
- Los Angeles at San Jose
Sunday, August 13
- Montreal/DC winner at Toronto
- Los Angeles/San Jose winner at San Francisco
(Pittsburgh-Minnesota game story from AUDL website)