Week 6 Matchups Preview

June 1, 2023
By Sam Weiger

New York Empire at Boston Glory
Friday, June 2 - 7:00 PM/ET - Watch link

Let’s see how glorious this undefeated Boston team really is. Their only noteworthy win came against Philadelphia, but New York is a whole different animal. The Empire are 31-3 in their last three seasons.

Jeff Babbitt has found the end zone 16 times in the last two games, and he is currently a frontrunner in the MVP race. Babbitt is one of New York’s top four blockers, along with two-time MVP Ben Jagt, John Randolph, and Ryan Drost. In a defensive battle like this one, these are the players who could make a big difference.

Boston’s defense has been a dominant blocking unit this season, leading the league with 14.67 blocks per game. Chris Bartoli and Brendan McCann, two of the Glory’s leading blockers, have a proven track record of disrupting even the strongest O-lines in the AUDL.

Believe it or not, this is a statistically bad matchup for the Empire. New York has struggled in the red zone so far this season, and the Glory have allowed the lowest red zone completion percentage in the league (60.47 percent). This should be a low-scoring game, but New York’s clutch play in the fourth quarter will be the difference in the end.

One Big Number:
1 - The three opponents Boston has faced so far this season have combined for just one win in 10 games.
13 - The Empire have allowed the fewest goals per game in the league this season, at just 13.

Carolina Flyers at DC Breeze
Friday, June 2 - 7:00 PM/ET - Watch link

The first of several Week 6 rivalries is an interdivisional matchup between two teams who are arguably the top challengers to the Empire. DC has the opportunity to establish dominance in this rivalry.

Benjamin Oort quietly returned to the AUDL after a four-year absence, and his first two games were not a fluke. As long as the Dutch star is on the field, he is going to showcase his incredible versatility and score against any team. On the defensive end, Moussa Dia, AJ Merriman, and  Jasper Tom have been racking up blocks. The trio combined for 10 blocks in Week 4 against Toronto.

Carolina also has a deep roster, and they have managed to start the season 3-2 despite missing key players in every game. Liam Searles-Bohs, Matt Gouchoe-Hanas, Trevor Lynch, and Alex Davis are all expected to return for this important matchup with the Breeze. The Flyers’ break percentage has increased significantly since Searles-Bohs and Gouchoe-Hanas made their debut in Week 3. 

New York is the only team that has beaten DC since 2021, when the Flyers defeated them in the postseason. If any team is going to upset the Breeze, it’s Carolina.

One Big Number:
31 - Oort, at just 18 years old, scored 31 goals in 10 games for the Toronto Rush in 2018. 
35 - The Flyers have a break percentage of 35 percent in their three consecutive wins, compared to 14 percent in their two losses to start the season.

Chicago Union at Minnesota Wind Chill
Saturday, June 3 - 7:00 PM/ET - Watch link

Chicago showed in Week 6 that they are a force to be reckoned with, even without Pawel Janas. They beat the Radicals and Wind Chill on back-to-back days. Minnesota will look to get revenge this week and earn just their fourth win in the last 13 games against arch rival Chicago.

The Union answered the questions about their poor chemistry in their season opener. The Union cut down on turnovers and averaged a break percentage of 43.5 percent in their two Week 6 wins. Sam Kaminsky, who had the second most completions last season behind Janas, returned to the lineup and completed 50 passes in his debut.

The Wind Chill were missing four key players in Abe Coffin, Jason Tschida, Quinn Snider, and Marco Dregni, and it showed in their 12-goal performance against Chicago. Minnesota will be closer to full strength this time, which should lead to more offensive efficiency.

The big question is whether Minnesota’s O-line can improve their performance against the Union, whose stingy defense has allowed the third lowest O-line conversion percentage in the league. The Wind Chill are still missing a couple offensive playmakers, but Chicago is also coming into this game shorthanded. This could be one of the closest games of the week, and it is sure to be a must-watch.

One Big Number:
- The Union averaged 15.5 turnovers in the Week 5 doubleheader, a significant improvement from the 23 turnovers they committed in their season opener loss.
67.52 - Coffin, Tschida, Snider, and Dregni have a combined offensive efficiency of 67.52, which would rank number one this season for a full team. 

Oakland Spiders at Salt Lake Shred
Saturday, June 3 - 9:00 PM/ET - Watch link


Oakland has had a relatively easy schedule so far in 2023, but they will face a tough four-game stretch starting this week. The stretch begins with a rematch with the Shred, who defeated them in an overtime thriller in Week 3.

Salt Lake is constantly praised for their high-scoring offense, but their defense is often overlooked. They are second in the league in breaks per game this season, and they are ranked fourth in blocks. Kyle Weinberg and Everett Saunders have combined for 18 blocks, the most of any two players on one team this year.

Spiders rookie Walker Frankenberg, who is one of the top goal scorers in the AUDL this season, scored six goals against Salt Lake in Week 3. Keenan Laurence also had a big game against the Shred, so keep an eye on these two Oakland standouts.

The Spiders and the Shred were evenly matched Week 3, but the Shred had a significant advantage in blocks. Home advantage could also be a factor in this game. In 2022, Salt Lake edged Oakland in Oakland, but soundly defeated them in Salt Lake. The Shred should win this game and improve to 6-0.

One Big Number:
14 - Salt Lake had 14 blocks in their Week 3 win over Oakland, while the Spiders only tallied nine.
30 - Oakland gave up 30 goals to the Shred in their meeting in Salt Lake last year.

LA Aviators at San Diego Growlers
Saturday, June 3 - 9:15 PM/ET - Watch link


The Aviators faced a demanding schedule to start the 2023 season, but they now have an opportunity to start a winning streak. Los Angeles has lost six consecutive games to the Growlers, but their revamped team is capable of flipping the script in this upcoming SoCal rivalry meeting.

LA’s offense has been unable to score 20 goals against a playoff contender, but they have a good chance to do so against San Diego’s porous defense. Keep an eye on Sean McDougall, who will be looking to make a statement in this revenge game against his former team. The Aviators have also struggled to get blocks this season. The Growlers are giving up 10.75 blocks per game, so LA should get enough opportunities in this matchup.

For the first time this season, San Diego will have Travis Dunn and Paul Lally both available. Dunn and Lally’s presence will be a major asset against an LA defense that has kept the Summit under 20 goals twice this year. San Diego’s defense hasn’t been great this season, but their ability to force huck turnovers could be a big factor against LA, who commits the second-most huck turnovers per game.

These two teams are evenly matched, but San Diego has been dominant at home over the past few years. The crowd and the Growlers’ strong track record against the Aviators should give them a slight edge, but don’t be surprised if they fall short.

One Big Number:
6.25 - The Aviators are averaging 6.25 blocks per game, which is the second fewest in the league.
5.25 - The Growlers’ defense is forcing their opponents to make 5.25 huck turnovers per game.