Your Raptors hit the road tomorrow to tangle with the Muskegon Risers in a game heavy with potential playoff implications.
The Risers (1-8) are out of the North Conference playoff hunt, but they can still play the spoiler as they close out their season. Your Raptors currently sit third in the conference, trailing the Rochester Lancers 2 by a single point. Muskegon faces us on Friday, then will travel to Rochester to close out their season on the road with a doubleheader vs. the Lancers 2.
Your Raptors, meanwhile, will face Rochester once more on our home turf at the Alliant Power House, but only after a tough matchup with the division-leading Iowa Demon Hawks. We then close out our season on the road in Rochester, playing the Lancers 2 back to back. The Demon Hawks, meanwhile, end their season at home, vs. your Raptors first, and then the Lancers 2.
"Obviously it's a very fluid situation looking forward to the playoffs," said Raptors head coach Curt Lewis. "With that many matchups happening at the end of the season, pretty much anything can happen."
The Risers have been a hard-luck story so far this season, but they've been competitive in all but one game so far, a 17-4 shellacking by the Des Moines. On the other hand, their lone victory was a gritty overtime win vs. those same Demon Hawks. Similarly, though they're in the cellar in terms of goal differential (-28), almost half that came from one game.
"They're a tough squad," said veteran Raptor Bobby Hurwitz. "They've got a lot of heart. You can't count anyone out in this league, and we're certainly prepared for a very tough game."
Your Raptors are also looking for a measure of redemption, following an overtime loss to the Lancers 2 on February 4th. In that game, a late Rochester score with their extra attacker led to a mental lapse by your Raptors, resulting in what amounted to an empty net goal. "Everyone is focused and ready to bear down," Lewis said.
Your Raptors come in with a +4 goal differential on an average of 7.6 goals per game. Jonah Dancer continues his season-long tenure on the league leaderboard. He's currently 5th in total points, 3rd in total goals, and 5th in points per game. Pat Kelly is also holding steady at #2 in power play goals. So long as your Raptors stay focused, we should be able to leave Michigan with the W. All games can be streamed on the MASL2 site.