DETROIT BEATS SWERVE; SETS UP WINNER-TAKE-ALL MATCH AGAINST ROCHESTER

by Kathleen Coyne

DETROIT, MIThe Detroit Waza Flo inched closer to an M2 playoff berth as they were able to hold off the Cincinnati Swerve, 3-2, in Detroit on Saturday night. The match was a hard fought defensive battle throughout and had its fare share of chippy instances but the Flo ultimately held serve into the waning seconds and now head to Rochester with the final playoff spot on the line.

Both teams spent much of the opening half trying to figure each other out but it but it was Detroit who struck first when Lucas Heffron, playing in his first match for the Waza Flo, redirected a rebound into the back of the Swerve net. Detroit held onto the slim 1-0 advantage into the halftime break as the game opened up with chances but neither defense surrendering another goal.

The Waza Flo came out of the halftime break with a surge that we have seen more often than not as Joey Tinnion buried two more tallies within two minutes to open up a three goal advantage. Waza Flo keeper, Nate Steinwascher, had an incredible game between the pipes but the Swerve were ultimately able to get on the board when Matthew Breines scored on a short side pass from former Waza Flo player, Sam Fiore. With six and a half minutes to play, the Swerve managed to turn the game into a battle when Fiore scored to cut the deficit to just a lone goal. Cincinnati continued their onslaught and saw many chances in the final minutes. An untimely Waza Flo penalty with just over a minute left saw the Swerve finish the game with a six-on-four powerplay but Steinwascher and the Flo held on to the slim margin to close out the home portion of their schedule with a crucial, 3-2 victory.

Detroit now has just one game left on their schedule as they head to Rochester to take on the Lancers on Friday, March 8th. Detroit sits a half-game up on the Lancers, who have two games to play. With the tie breaker being head-to-head advantage, the winner of Friday night's contest will earn the right to face off against the Chicago Mustangs in the M2 quarterfinals.

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for a stream of Friday night's game. Should the Flo win, they'll take on the Mustangs in Chicago in a one game, winner take all, match for a spot in the semifinals of the M2 playoffs in Ontario, CA.