Power Rankings: Week 12


By Adam Ruffner 

Rank Team Record Trend Comment



10-1 - Once again showing the strength of their depth, the Flyers went on the road to face a very good Hustle team while playing without notables like Jonathan Nethercutt, Goose Helton, Jack Williams, Jacob Fairfax, and Ben Dieter among others, and still held the lead for a majority of the game on the way to their eighth straight win. Noah Saul showed off seemingly limitless range with his throws, completing 42 passes and 5 assists while committing just a single turnover. But the breakout player for the night was Matt Bode, who finished with 6 goals to bring his season total up to 29, tying him for first on the team with Fairfax. A mercurial star, Bode is having his best season as a pro, putting up 43 scores in 2017 compared to just 12 turnovers in 10 games.



9-2 - After his 7-goal performance in Dallas' comeback win at home against Austin, Abe Coffin is now one of three AUDL players to reach the 30-assist/30-goal mark on the season. While not necessarily surprising given his level of skill, Coffin's offensive performance this season dwarfs his numbers with the Radicals last season; he's averaging just over 6 scores per game with the Roughnecks, compared to just under 3 per game with Madison in 2016.



8-3 +2 Saturday's victory against the FlameThrowers was as important symbolically for the Rush as it was to Toronto's place in the East Division standings. Since beating Madison to win the 2013 title, the Rush were 0-3 against teams outside of the East before last weekend's reprisal, with Toronto often struggling to matchup their previous final four opponents in terms of open field athleticism. That was not the case against San Francisco, as Andrew Carroll raced his way to an 8-assist, 6-goal day that displayed an aggressiveness and explosiveness that Toronto previously lacked against interdivisional foes.



7-3 -1 With just 15 active players in Toronto, San Francisco took a lead into halftime before fading down the stretch on the road while missing a host of Team USA-level players. The loss certainly doesn't help the FlameThrowers, but it also didn't displace them from their position atop the West. The real challenge will come tomorrow in San Jose as the winner will take over first place in the division. The FlameThrowers hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series, and could still maintain a tiebreaker advantage even with the loss. But with just three games remaining after Saturday, San Francisco can ill afford another defeat.



8-1 +1 After missing the team's final five games of the 2016 season—including their two-goal loss in the playoffs to Pittsburgh—the 2013 league leader in blocks Jimmy Kittlesen has returned to form for the Wind Chill in 2017. He has played in all nine of the team's games, and is currently leading Minnesota with 17 blocks, including four in Saturday's win over Chicago on the road. His presence has definitely solidified a Wind Chill defense that has been stifling, holding opponents to 20 goals or fewer in all but two games this season, while being ranked seventh in the league at generating turnovers. Madison has long been considered the defensive stalwarts of the Midwest, but the Wind Chill are holding opponents to fewer scores: Wind Chill are giving up 18.4 goals per game, compared to the 19.9 given up by the Radicals.



7-3 +1 Jacksonville has already lost the season series to the Flyers, but tomorrow night's fourth and final regular season matchup in Raleigh between the two bitter rivals offers a lot of incentive for both teams. A Cannons win, coupled with a Dallas win against Atlanta, would unseat Raleigh from their current position atop the South. Cole Sullivan, Bobby Ley, and former Flyer Chris LaRocque have all been superb against Raleigh in their three previous matchups this season, but the game will come down to Jacksonville's defense; the Cannons have only managed 19 blocks in three games, including a measly six in their one-goal loss on June 3.



8-2 +1 After three straight seasons of scoring exactly 26 goals per game on the nose, the Radicals are averaging just 21.9 per game in 2017, and have scored more than 24 goals just once this season. Madison was still able to sweep its Week 11 road trip doubleheader against Pittsburgh and Detroit thanks to their stifling defense allowing just 32 goals in the two games. But as the playoffs near, the Radicals are still well below their perennial efficiency rankings: Last year, their offense scored on 72 percent of their points, compared to just 63 percent in 2017.



8-4 -4 More than just a defeat on the road in a closely contested playoff race, the Breeze's four-goal loss in Montreal gave the Royal a head-to-head tiebreaker advantage against DC. The real doozy is that Montreal accomplished the coup on a last-second buzzer beating huck at the end of regulation, which showed the Royal's mental fortitude and DC's possible lacking thereof. Still, DC bounced back the next day to hand Ottawa a 15-goal loss, and the Breeze can sneak back into first with another Toronto loss.



7-3 - Reeling after two straight losses and the absence of their offensive leader Justin Norden, the Spiders brought a lot of energy on the road in their impressive defeat of the Growlers last Saturday. Jackson Stearns, Shane Earley, Andrew Berry, and Evan Brydon combined for 18 goals without a drop among them, while Sonny Zaccaro stepped up alongside Chuck Cao to return San Jose's offense to their normal level of productivity, scoring 28 goals after averaging just 20.3 in their previous three games.



5-4 - Other than New York and Jacksonville, Los Angeles is the biggest wild card in the league as the playoffs loom ever closer. In a single game setting, the Aviators have the talent to matchup with anyone in the West. But since their 2-0 start, LA has traded wins and losses throughout their schedule while failing to find any sort of consistent rhythm either offensively or defensively—they lack an identity, especially in lieu of losing Mark Elbogen for the season. But their road to the postseason might be the most favorable of any of the teams vying for spots, as they have no more games against SF, and four against Vancouver, Seattle, and San Diego, teams that LA is a combined 4-1 against this season.



7-4 +1 Following a three-game losing streak that saw their record dip to 2-4, the Royal are now winners of five straight since May 20, including wins over both DC and New York. Excluding their nine-goal win against the Outlaws on June 2, though, Montreal has sneaked by opponents by an average of win margin of just three goals during their streak. I mentioned Quentin Bonnaud last week as being integral to Montreal's surge, but so has the play of his O-line mate Nasser M'Bae Vogel. In his last five games, Vogel has thrown 17 assists and 16 goals, opening up the Royal offense and giving them a deep strike potential that was not there in years past.



5-4 +1 Seattle ended their three-game slide by rallying to an 11-6 finish against Vancouver after being tied at 13-13 early in the third quarter of Saturday's game. But outside of the Riptide, the Cascades have just one victory this season against divisional opponents, putting them in an unenviable position in the West Division playoff race. And with three of their five remaining games against the top two teams in the division, Seattle has a tough road to get back to the postseason, let alone return to the title game.



5-6 -2 Simply put, the Growlers defense could not slow down the Spiders' attack, despite the San Diego offense completing 94 percent of their 323 passes. But with two games remaining against Los Angeles—as well as possessing the tiebreaker advantage against the Cascades—the Growlers still control much of their playoff fate while in search of their postseason appearance in franchise history.



3-5 +2 The sleeping giants—almost as literal as it is figurative—of the 2017 season are starting to show some signs of awakening their potential. The Empire handed a plucky Philadelphia team their worst loss of the season while allowing 14 goals or fewer for the third time this season, the most of any team in the AUDL. The imposing presences of Jeff Babbitt and Ben Jagt continue to headline the defense, but the transition of John Wodatch from O-line handler to leading the counterattack on the D-line has been vital to reshaping New York's playoff path and getting the team back to the postseason for the fifth straight season. But their schedule may ultimately be this team's downfall: Five of their six remaining games are on the road, including two tough back-to-back road trips to Canada.



4-7 -1 Following Saturday's loss—and for the second time in three seasons—it appears the Hustle will miss the playoffs despite likely being one of the 10 best teams when at full strength. Matt Smith is leading the league with 47 goals in 11 games, trailed closely by teammate Nathan Vickroy's 38, who is currently tied for sixth in the AUDL. 12 different Hustle players have at least 10 assists on the season, which speaks to this team's throwing proficiency. And yet, here they sit three games below .500 and having surrendered 24+ goals in five of their last six games (2-4 record, both wins against Austin).



4-4 -1 The Thunderbirds almost pulled out the win against the Radicals behind Max Thorne's (4 assists, 5 goals) and Pat Earles' (7 assists) deep throw airshow, but ultimately fell due to a lack of defensive pressure; the Pittsburgh defense had just eight blocks on the night. Even with the loss, Pittsburgh is still likely to clinch the third playoff spot in the Midwest, especially if they get a win this weekend at home against the AlleyCats, who they have defeated twice already this season. Thorne threw 14 assists in those two games against Indy, and is up to 29 on the season in just six games played.



2-6 - The Outlaws began their season with a series of tough battles, win or lose. But after dropping their game at home on Sunday to the Breeze 28-13, Ottawa has now scored just 26 goals in their past two games, and is riding a four-game losing streak with a margin of defeat of 9.3 goals per game. Offensive consistency was central to this team's identity the past two seasons, so it's perplexing what exactly is causing the team's scoring struggles other than inconsistency in player personnel. The only O-line regulars that have played in every game this season are Andy Ouchterlony and Derek Alexander.



2-8 - Save for, like, literal divine intervention, Sunday's loss to New York all but eliminated the Phoenix from the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. On the way, though, Sean Mott became just the second player in franchise history to reach 30 assists and 30 goals in a single season. Mott has proven to be equally potent with or without the disc, and will be an important pillar for the team to build around going in to the future.



2-8 - Austin's latest loss to Dallas may have been their most dramatic yet, as the teams were tied at 13-13 before Dallas pushed their lead to 21-15, only to see the Sol go on a 8-3 run to pull within one goal before eventually falling shy of their rivals. It's hard to take much solace in another loss to those dang Roughnecks, but the Sol's youth movement was really on display in the team's scrappy performance. It may feel like they're already veterans, but players like Chase Cunningham and Michael Matthis are still just getting into their primes as players.



3-6 - The only player to rank in the league's top 10 in both scoring and blocks, Rick Gross (23 assists/39 goals/19 blocks) is having a historic season even as the AlleyCats struggle to remain playoff relevant. Saturday's 6-goal, 4-block game was the fifth time in nine games Gross has registered multiple goals and multiple blocks in the same contest. And though it is still a long shot, a win this weekend against the Thunderbirds would put the AlleyCats on track to possibly force a three-way tie in the Midwest, from which Indy could possibly emerge as a playoff team.



2-7 - For the fourth time this season, the Wildfire scored 17 or fewer goals in a game on Saturday against the Wind Chill. That may seem like a lot, but it's actually an improve for Chicago over last season, in which they had six such games. That is likely because of the singular force that is Pawel Janas. His 49 assists place him tied for third in the league, but more impressively, they're 36 more than the second highest individual total on the Wildfire.



1-10 - Vancouver's offense was out of sync on Saturday in their home loss to the Cascades, failing to score 20 goals for the sixth time in 2017. Losing top goal scorers in Ben Burelle and Darren Wu to the Rush this season drastically changed the team's downfield target options, but the Riptide have struggled to just hold onto the disc. They are second to last in catching percentage at just 97.53 percent, and are dropping on average 5.6 passes per game.



1-8 - The Mechanix almost got their first win against the AlleyCats since the inaugural season of the AUDL in 2012, but an 8-1 Indy run crushed Detroit's hopes. The team quietly added Mark Rauls to its roster as an offensive spark plug, and he fared well in his AUDL debuts. But with just one game remaining against a team with a losing record, it's doubtful the Mechanix will be able to replicate last season's win total.



0-9 - If there was an opportunity for the NightWatch to pull off the historic upset against Raleigh, Sunday was it, but a storm intervened after Nashville took an early 4-2 lead to postpone the game. The NightWatch will have another five games to avoid becoming just the third team in AUDL history to endure a winless season.

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