April 23rd, 2018
By: Jack Sussman - Thrifty Hipster
FINALLY… after an unreasonably long winter and a mid-week venue change, the Minnesota Wind Chill season is in full swing. They had their home opener this past Saturday (4/21) against the Chicago Wildfire. The game was supposed to be played in at the National Sports Center in Blaine, but due to unplayable field conditions, it was held at Sea Foam Stadium in St. Paul. It was the first beautiful spring night with a highly energetic crowd and the Blue Fire Pizza truck in attendance. The only downside, Surly Beer was not allowed to be served at the campus stadium...
The game itself was a back and forth duel with some drama at the end. The Wind Chill came out hot taking the early lead in the first half. They were up by as much as 4 at one point in the game. Kurt Gibson, one of Chicago’s top players and arguably one of the best in the entire AUDL, went down during the first half with a hamstring injury, but the Wind Chill knew that there wouldn't be any quit in the opponent.
“We had to keep the truck rolling. Even with their top player going down, that didn’t change our game plan. We had to keep the intensity high.”-Wind Chill #41 Sam Bumsted
The Wind Chill were up 12-9 going into half-time.
Photo: Wind Chill #1 Ryan Osgar elevating over the Wildfire defender
The second half is where things got interesting. The Wind Chill started turning over the disc, and Chicago was able to close in on the lead. After a few more back and forth points, the game was tied at 22 at the end of regulation.
What a Home Opener! Some extra ultimate for the fans. During the short overtime period, both teams scored once bringing the count to 23-23. The Wind Chill failed to connect on a deep hammer intended for #3 Bryan Vohnoutka as time expired.
Photo: Wind Chill #61 Brandon Matis with the snag over Ross Barker of the Wildfire.
Whoever scores first wins the game. The Wind Chill received once again based on a second coin flip and easily moved it up the field to score and win the game…but wait.... apparently there was a coin flip miscommunication. Because the Wind Chill received the disc in the first overtime, Chicago was entitled to receive in sudden death overtime based on AUDL rules. Fans were exiting the stadium as they thought the home team had just won. There was a 30 minute discussion and delay as referees and coaches determined a solution.
“At first, we were all cheering thinking that we had won. We were all kind of confused while we were waiting around.” – Sam Bumsted
After a lengthy discussion, the two teams were asked to re-do the final point of the game, with Chicago correctly receiving with the disc. Fortunately, #4 Greg Cousins of the Wind Chill successfully poached off the center stack and blocked a floating around backhand intended for a downfield Wildfire cutter as the disc approached midfield. The Wind Chill moved it quick towards the end-zone on offense, and #1 Ryan Osgar found #66 Jason Tschida with a beautiful forehand throw down the sideline into the endzone for the "double score" game winner.
A close game with a dramatic ending... what more could you ask for?
Come cheer on the Wind Chill, Saturday, May 5th, for their next home game vs. the Madison Radicals. The game will take place at TCF Bank Stadium at 3:00pm immediately following the MN United MLS Game. Purchase Tickets Here!