Week 7 Matchups Preview

June 8, 2023
By Sam Weiger

Salt Lake Shred at Colorado Summit 
Friday, June 9 - 8:30 PM/ET - Watch link

The only major AUDL rivalry yet to happen in 2023 is finally here. Colorado won all three meetings between the two teams last year, but the Shred are a deeper team this year. This battle between two undefeated teams is a must-watch game for any AUDL fan.

Jordan Kerr is coming off his highest-scoring game of the season, but he will have his work cut out for him this week against Cody Spicer. Kerr’s worst performance of 2022 came against Spicer, who held Kerr to just three total scores and forced four turnovers. Salt Lake lost to Colorado by one goal last year, and Sean Connole was out. The Shred had a season-low huck percentage in that game, so keep an eye on Salt Lake’s 2023 huck leader in this one.

The Shred have not yet faced a defense as strong as Colorado’s. The Summit are ranked in the top three in the AUDL in goals allowed, blocks, and breaks. Spicer, Saeed Semrin, and Noah Coolman are Colorado’s defensive standouts. With Colorado looking stronger defensively than last year, this game could come down to Salt Lake’s defense.

The Shred only had one close game against Colorado last year, and blocks kept them in it. The Summit have not allowed many blocks this year, and Salt Lake’s block average has decreased since last year. As a result, Colorado is the slight favorite in this matchup.

One Big Number:
7.67 - The Shred only had 7.67 blocks per game against Colorado in 2022, which was well below their average of 12.29 for the year. 
5.4 - Colorado allows the fewest opponent blocks per game (5.4) in the league this season.

Atlanta Hustle at New York Empire
Saturday, June 10 - 7:00 PM/ET - Watch link

It’s been a while since these two teams have faced off, but their last meeting was unforgettable. The Empire won the 2021 Atlantic Division semifinal in overtime on a buzzer-beater, so Atlanta will be looking for revenge.

The Hustle haven't beaten a playoff contender on the road since August 2021, but they have two chances to end that streak in Week 7. In their recent road losses to playoff contenders, Atlanta’s D-line conversion percentage has been much lower than usual. This means that Hayden Austin-Knab, Brett Hulsmeyer, and Dean Ramsey will need to play big roles in order for the Hustle to win this game.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, AUDL D-lines have had the lowest success rate converting against the Empire this season.  Jeff Babbitt, Ben Jagt, and Charles Weinberg are excellent at defending break chances, and they are a big reason why New York is only allowing their opponents to convert 31.25 percent of them.

The Hustle will be playing the Empire on the second night of a road doubleheader. They had a bye in Week 6, which should reduce fatigue. However, a team that has a hard time beating good teams on the road will find this a tough ask. The Empire haven’t lost a home game in five years, and that streak shouldn’t end here.

One Big Number:
4 - The Hustle have lost four straight road games to playoff contenders.
24 - The Empire have won 24 consecutive home games. Good luck, Atlanta.


Chicago Union at Indianapolis AlleyCats
Saturday, June 10 - 9:00 PM/ET - Watch link

Indianapolis has a chance to beat the Union multiple times in a season for the first time since 2018. Chicago lost their season opener to the ‘Cats, but the Union have since looked like their old selves.

The Union defense, which has been spectacular on break percentage in recent years, has led the league in this statistic since Week 5. Jake Steslicki and Jace Bruner have spearheaded this effort, which has motivated the Chicago offense to clean up their turnovers. However, the Union offense is a bit banged up following their Week 6 loss, and Ross Barker, Paul Arters, and Nate Goff will miss this game. 

Veterans Travis Carpenter, Levi Jacobs, and Cameron Brock have been the stars of the show for Indy so far this season, but rookie William Wettengel has been quietly putting up impressive numbers. Wettengel is tied for most blocks among rookies with 11, and could be a key factor in this game against Chicago’s shorthanded offense. 

The ‘Cats need to throw more hucks if they want to win this game. Indy has thrown fewer hucks per game this year than last year, despite having a strong huck percentage over the past two seasons. If they make this adjustment, it could be the third straight game that comes down to the wire at Grand Park Events Center.

One Big Number:
16.3 - After committing 23 turnovers in their opening loss to Indy, Chicago has averaged only 16.3 turnovers per game.
71 - Indy has the highest huck percentage in the AUDL since 2022, with an average of 71 percent.


Carolina Flyers at Austin Sol
Saturday, June 10 - 8:00 PM/ET - Watch link

The Sol have a 5-2 record, but they have yet to beat a top-tier team. Their biggest loss of the season came against the Flyers, who could move into first place in the South Division with a sweep of their Week 7 doubleheader.

Last week was a mixed bag for Carolina, but they did score their biggest win of the season on the road against DC. During the Week 6 doubleheader, Joe White had a whopping 19 total scores and Elijah Long became the league-leader in hockey assists. These two players are worth watching in this game.

Evan Swiatek played well against Carolina and Atlanta this year, but Kyle Henke and Mark Evans struggled in those matchups. In games this season against the Hustle and Flyers, Henke and Evans combined to commit 14 throwaways, stalls, and/or drops.

This is Austin’s last chance to beat a top-tier team this season. They have won nine consecutive home games, and Carolina could be tired coming into their fourth game in nine days. With a playoff spot on the line and several close games between these two franchises last year, it’s no surprise that this meeting was chosen as one of the seven best games to watch during the 2023 season.

One Big Number:
18 - The Sol, who are second in the league in goals per game this season with 22.86, are averaging just 18 goals per game against teams with winning records.
38 - White and Long had a combined 38 goals, assists, and hockey assists during Carolina’s Week 6 doubleheader.


San Diego Growlers at Oakland Spiders
Saturday, June 10 - 8:00 PM/ET - Watch link

The battle for the third spot in the West Division continues to tighten up, and the Growlers and Spiders are right in the mix. Both teams had disappointing results last week, but their top offensive duos looked spectacular.

Oakland has faced either elite teams or non-playoff teams so far this season, so this game will be a good test of where Oakland stands in the pecking order. Mac Hecht and Chris Lung, who are co-leading the Spiders offense in their first year as teammates, continue to be a force. However, the Spiders have struggled in the second half recently, outscored by 11 goals in their doubleheader last week.

The good news for Oakland is that the Growlers’ defense remains below-average. This game could be a high-scoring affair, so Travis Dunn and Paul Lally should get plenty of opportunities. The duo finally played on the field together this year, and they combined for 11 assists, six goals, and 1,329 total yards last week against LA. 

With both of these teams getting significant production from their leaders, this game should be decided by which duo receives more help. Walker Frankenberg, Keenan Laurence, and Raekwon Adkins’ playmaking should push the Spiders over the top.

One Big Number:
7,094 - Hecht and Lung have combined for the most total yards (7,094) of any team duo in the AUDL this season.
3 - Only three Growlers players average four total scores per game, while the Spiders have six.