Cascades 25 – Riptide 21
The Cascades came out with an important win on opening night in the first what will be four matchups against the Vancouver Riptide this season. Avenging 2015’s home opener buzzer-beater loss, it is clear that Seattle is off to the right start. After a brief push where the Riptide took a one point lead, the Cascades outscored them 10-7 in the third quarter and never looked back.
The victory came as a result of a balanced team effort. On offense, 14 different Seattle players scored goals, with no individual catching more than three. Seven players tallied multiple assists.
Mark Burton did not disappoint in his debut, racking up 3 goals, 4 assists, and a block as a major driver of the offensive line. His addition has given the Cascades another weapon who is very difficult to contain and will put pressure on defenses already struggling against dominant forces like Phil Murray (5 assists) and Matt Rehder (3 goals).
Big man, 6’4” Sam (Moose) Hart had a fantastic start to his season, leading the team with three blocks. Adding three goals and two assists, he has proven extremely capable as a defensive line converter. After being injured for much of the 2015 season, Moose looks ready to charge. His size is welcome on a defensive line that lacks height when missing star deep defender Reid Koss. With Julian Hausman and Frank Devin Barich injured, the Cascades will have to play smart to stop taller receivers.
The Riptide were carried by their stars Morgan Hibbert (3 Goals, 4 blocks, 2 assists) and Kevin Underhill (6 goals). Vancouver’s lead scorer from 2015, Gagan Chatha, was held to just one goal, though with 3 assists, he may be transitioning to more of a distributor role. They will need more contributors in the future to challenge the Cascades.
The next matchup between Seattle and Vancouver will be on the Riptide’s home turf. The Cascades have two additional games during the weekend between. Will fatigue set in for Seattle, or will more reps against the Bay Area teams just solidify our team chemistry? Find out April 16th.