2017 FBA Season/17.03.11/WPG@DAK/Capsule

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Gooooooooood Exciting evening, fellas and ladies! Tonight we are witnessing a battle of rivals, as the Voyageurs and the Bikers opened this division rival week. It's time to see if the Voyageur curse still looms over Dakota or if the Bikers can shake the Canadian storm off like it's nothing!

The first quarter started tight, as Matthew Silvius kicked off to a hot start. The weasel from Durham did not waste any time getting hmself on te woods and opening up with a flawless three, earning enormous cheers from the crowd. Winnipeg wasn't going to relent, following valiant effors from Theodore Sanftner and Derek Kim. Nevertheless this first quarter was all about Silvius and Dylan Redfield racking the points up. But once Xavier Saffiren got in the mix, the Canadians rebounded, managing to equal their rivals' score and then some. This energy carried through the second quarter, once Kim got in charge of feeding Saffiren the ball, who was showcasing his skills like an All Star this night, holy cow. With Kevin Malka going out of his way to shut down Dylan Redfield defensively, this quarter sealed an important, but not definite advantage for the first half. Bikers were determined to rebound come the second half.

It was clear that they weren't clicking in the three point game in the early quarters, so it was all about 'feeding the weasel'. It came to the point Winnipeg detected their rivals' intentions, up to going a bit over the line with Yves Carbonneau accidentally fouling the weasel, earling him an extra point for the Bikers; a faux pas that the ebcnh players were not intending to repeat. While Mike Timmids kept the scores going, it was evident that this bench had some semblance of control over Winnipeg, with Aesop Tecumseh and Brian Delano Montgomery III stealing and blocking shots all around. With the third quarter ending 74-71 at favor for Winnipeg, this could have gone either way.

Kim was clear in his goal; he had to keep assisting to the highest scorers. And here is where Saffiren shone, effectively shutting down any opposition on his scoring, the home team not counting with the greyhounds plays, choosing to focus on Kim and Malka, leaving little space of work for Saffiren's sudden scoring. There was a moment where the Bikers had the lead close to the end, 90 to 88, but Malka's blocking did what it had to do and avoided any score spikes, evne if he did overexert on that last block and had to bow out of the court earlier. With the score closed on 98 to 94 for Winnipeg, Saffiren burned the time with some free throws his team didn't need at that point. It was clear the Voyageur curse won over this round.

We caught up with the sole rookie on the winning team, Chantal Magnano after the game: "Oh my gosh, like, being in here, playing opposite to a star like Dylan, with this team managing in keeping control of this division, it's unreal. Any young ladies watching, put your mind on it, and you can be wherever you want", the gracious mongoose greeted her rivals in respect. With such a topsy-turvy division, it was a matter of time to see if the Voyageurs could reign over the rest.

~Zane Donovan. FSPN.com

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