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Game Preview: Raptors vs. Muskegon

Attention Jurassic Fanatics! Your Raptors return to action at the Powerhouse this Friday, December 30, vs. the Muskegon Risers. Doors open at 5:30, and the first 1,000 fans into the arena will receive a free team poster!

Your Raptors enter Friday's action with a 1-1 record. Our only loss was a nail-biting shootout against the Des Moines Demon Hawks at the start of the regular season, while the win was a thrilling come-from-behind against the Risers on Sunday, December 11. Your Raptors have been idle since that game, while the Risers downed the Demon Hawks 8-7 in overtime on December 17th in Muskegon.

Once again, the Risers will be playing the Raptors immediately after taking on the Demon Hawks. The Risers come into the game with a chip on their shoulders, having lost two out of three by a mere six goals. The Risers are second in scoring in the North Division with 20 goals, trailing only Des Moines (24), and are third in goals scored in the entire MASL2 (Chihuahua Savage II, in the West Division, leads all teams with 26 goals scored).

Power plays might prove crucial in the upcoming contest. Muskegon has scored with every single man advantage this season, while failing to kill any penalties. Your Raptors have also failed to kill any penalties, but have scored on just 25% of power play chances.

The Risers have made significant roster changes since the last time we saw them. Goalkeeper Antonio Gonzalez has been replaced in net by #0 Aidan Hanchett. The winning goaltender in Muskegon's overtime victory vs. Des Moines, he's currently posting a 6.97 Goals Against Average (GAA) and a .632 save percentage. Hanchett's save percentage matches up well with that of Raptors' GK Jesus "Chuy" Ortiz (.636), but Ortiz has allowed nearly two fewer goals in his starts (5.54 GAA). The Risers have also added veteran defender Brandon Dinsmore and Troy Morrison, who has spent time in the system with the MASL1 Milwaukee Wave.

Offensively, the Risers rely on a quartet of scorers: midfielders Daniel Arellano and Cesar Alayo, forward Ryan Wagenmaker, and defender Brandon Edwards have accounted for all the Risers' points so far this season. Edwards leads all scorers with three goals, and Arellano has accounted for every Risers assist so far (3).

This contrasts dramatically with your Raptors, who have had an amazing ten players record a point in just two games (the Risers have so far played three). Forwards / midfielders Jonah Dancer and Ricky Orozco lead all Raptors' scorers with 4 total points each. All four of Dancer's points are goals, while Orozco has banged home three. Passing has been the key to the Raptors' high-powered attack so far, with seven of ten scorers contributing an assist. Bobby Hurwitz, Ronaldo Rojas, and Pat Kelly have two assists each, while Orozco, forwards Jez Rodriguez and Ayo Adebayo, and defender Mariano Mateo have each tallied one.

Your Raptors will debut new home jerseys this Friday night, thanks to our new front of jersey sponsor AW Home Improvement. Custom replica jerseys are now available in the online store.

Fans, please follow us on social media! If you haven't, please check out our Cedar Rapids Soccer Watch Group on Facebook. For more in-depth analysis, player updates, and everything else a Jurassic Fanatic needs, check back here, and follow us on Twitter: @IARaptorsReport. We'll see you Friday at the Powerhouse!


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