MIN @ IND 6/8 Preview

Written By: Ryan Baker, Journalist

Well-rested and ready to go. After a bye week, the Minnesota Wind Chill resume play with, arguably, their biggest game to date this season as they will travel down to Indianapolis to play the AlleyCats on June 8.

“It’s nice having a bye. I think the guys kind of like being in rhythm, though. Sometimes playing games keeps you ready for the next one, but it gives us extra time to focus in on the opponent and watch a lot of film,” said Feldman.

This will be the only the matchup between the two this season, meaning it will determine the head-to-head tiebreaker come end of the season standings, if necessary. Furthermore, there’s an added pressure to walk away with a win in enemy territory.

“We know this is pivotal game as it will determine the head-to-head for the season. We know they’re hungry after that loss at Pittsburgh, and we’re prepared to go into Grand Park with our hard hats on,” said Bryan Vohnoutka. “We’re ready to get to work!”

The enemy territory is one that is different than any others in the league. Indianapolis plays in the confines of Grand Parks Events Center, an indoor location. Games hosted by them typically see less turnovers, higher throwing percentages, and less blocks. Teams need to execute at an incredibly high-rate, and one mistake can turn the tides for the rest of the game.

“If we can win the turnover battle and the end of quarters, I think that gives us a great chance,” Vohnoutka. “Passing percentages are normally very high indoors, so if we can apply pressure on defense, get a few more turns, get those half breaks at the buzzer, then we’ll be in a pretty good spot!”

The bye week also allowed for the Wind Chill to get some of key playmakers back after the college season came to a close. Guys that create a massive impact in Will Brandt and Paul Krenik will be making their 2024 debuts. Another debut will be Anthony Jirele, who is set to make his Wind Chill debut, after playing in a single game for the Chicago Union last year.

“They are super talented players, and going to be a big part of our team. I’m excited for those reinforcements, and the role that they’re going to play this weekend. They are good energy guys, said Feldman.”

Brandt and Krenik only played in ten games combined last year, Brandt with six and Krenik with four, but made their mark by combining for 21 assists, 12 goals, and eleven blocks. Despite not playing yet this year, they are ready to jump back into the mix for a huge game.

“I’m pumped. It’s a tough first game, for sure. Playing inside means that every decision and every throw needs to be sharper. There have been some mixed results so far this year but I’m hoping my presence can help the offense succeed. I’m hoping I can open up some new throwing windows and offensive looks, said Brandt.”

Indy is a team that walks into the game with a 2-2 record, including a one-point win over Chicago in a buzzer-beater frenzy game last weekend. The team brings in huge playmakers in Cameron Brock, Travis Carpenter, and William Wettengel, just to name a few. The challenge is right in front of them, and the stakes are high, but understood.

“It feels like a must win for us. I think we’ll have about our full roster, so there’s no excuses. Having just played (and winning) at college nationals, I think I’m used to the pressure right now. I’m ready to get after it, said Brandt.”

“This is a huge game. We only play Indy once, and with how things are shaking out in the standings, winning this game would mean a whole lot for us as we continue to move through a pretty difficult schedule from here on out. All these games are going to be really, really tough,” said Feldman.

Really tough may be an understatement, as there may still be a sour taste in the mouths of the AlleyCats considering Minnesota ended their season in the playoffs last year. Indy will be looking to come out hot, and make a statement on a Minnesota team that has taken a bit to find their rhythm right away in some of their games thus far.

“Getting out to a hot start is going to be important for us this weekend. There will be no shortage of energy or motivation when the first pull goes up on Saturday evening,” said Feldman.

The Wind Chill boast a 3-1 record that currently gives them the lead in the Central Division, but notching a win this Saturday night is a huge step in the right direction with a tough remaining schedule.

Click here to watch the Wind Chill take on the AlleyCats this Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. EDT! Or head to Pocket Square to watch with your fellow Wind Chill fans in person!