The Eighth Man

Ottawa Aims to Attain First MLQ Win Against Admirals

Credit: Ben Holland

Credit: Ben Holland

UPDATE: As of Friday morning, Ricky Nelson is no longer making the trip up to Ottawa due to illness, according to Katryna Hicks of the Washington Admirals.

It is the battle to get out of the basement in the East. The Washington Admirals (1-5) are set to travel nine hours to Ottawa this weekend to take on the only remaining winless team in the league. While both teams have had less than stellar seasons thus far, each team has lost three games at the hands of MLQ’s only 6-0 team, the Boston Night Riders. Any hopes of winning the division are gone for these two teams, but the difference between winning and losing this series has the potential to affect momentum and playoff seeding going into championship weekend.

Key Matchup: Mathew McVeigh vs. Admiral Beaters
With Colin Wallace out with an injury, an increased amount of pressure will be put on McVeigh this Saturday. While he will not be forced to cope with the hard hits of Washington’s beater Kyle Bullins, increased minutes and increased stress could cause McVeigh to suffer against veteran Ricky Nelson and the newly-transitioned James Hicks. Because both of these teams have had trouble scoring this season, the bludger game will be that much more important as the clock ticks down toward the snitch being released. If McVeigh can get some assistance from his accomplices and maintain control for around 50 percent of the game, it could go a long way for Ottawa.

Key Player: James Hicks
With the departure of coach Beto Natera from the Admirals, the role of Hicks as a manager was morphed into that of a coach. Hicks’ effect on this series will definitely show in his play on the pitch, but where it might show even more will be less tangible. As a coach for Capital Madness during the USQ season, Hicks simply outclassed opponents and led a team of ragtag players to close games against the likes of University of Maryland and Penn State University—teams that outmatched Madness in raw talent. While he has only been in control for two weeks, the Admirals had a plethora of potential they have not maximized in previous series, and it would be surprising not to see a completely revamped and renovated Admirals gameplan.

Prediction: Admirals 2-1
Despite Hicks taking charge at the helm of the S.S. Washington, the Admirals simply do not have enough offensive talent on this weekend’s roster to blow anyone out. However, the team will be in a position to win every game. With Nelson and a slew of battle-tested partners holding down the bludger game with the snitch on pitch, it will be tough for Ottawa to sneak away with the booty, but do not be surprised if the team manages to swipe a game against the offensively-deficient Admirals.

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