Crunch Home Opener Highlights Busy MLIS Weekend

Last weekend saw four MLIS games: Rapid City FC beat the Cincinnati Swerve 9-2 to take sole possession of first place. The Omaha Kings beat the Chicago Mustangs 6-4 to remain undefeated at 4-0, and moved two games ahead of Chicago.  The Houston Bolt and Springfield Demize split a pair of games, but Houston made history on Sunday by winning the first ever MLIS sudden death overtime game, 6-5.

This weekend's six league games are highlighted by the first two home games for the Cleveland Crunch at the IX Center. Saturday's game is already sold out, with a limited number of standing room tickets still available.

Saturday January 28

Springfield Demize (3-2) at Austin Emerald (0-3)
Season series: Springfield leads 1-0

In their first meeting earlier this year Springfield set MLIS records for goals in a game and margin of victory that will be hard to break. The Demize walloped the Emerald 24-1 on December 10. The Emerald have since fallen to 0-3 and have been outscored 49-10 overall.

Dominique Salcedo leads Springfield with eight goals, while Desmond Williams sets the pace with eight assists and 15 points. No one on Austin has more than three points.

Detroit Waza Flo (0-3) at Cleveland Crunch (2-1)
Season series: Cleveland leads 1-0

It's a sell out! Zoran Karic's #16 jersey is going up into the rafters. It's the Cleveland Crunch MLIS home opener. It's the first Crunch game at the IX Center. The only thing that could spoil Cleveland's party is the Detroit Waza Flo.

Ryan Minick leads the Crunch, who haven't played since December 18, in points with 11. Detroit has played once since losing 7-4 to the Crunch on December 18. 

Omaha Kings (4-0) at Illinois State Line Falcons (0-2)
Season series: Omaha leads 1-0

The Falcons will try to crank it up again after a four-week break. When we last saw them they were falling to 0-2 after a tough 5-4 loss in Omaha. The Kings, meanwhile, have since improved to 4-0.

Manuel Lira has been on fire with 15 points and 10 goals in four games, and goalkeeper Efren Flores leads MLIS in wins (four) and GAA (4.40).

Sunday January 29

Springfield Demize (3-2) at Houston Bolt (3-1)
Season series: 1-1

After playing two games in Springfield last weekend, the well-rested Bolt will get a turn to host Springfield, who will be coming off a Saturday game in Austin.

Jeminson Mejia leads Houston in scoring with 11 points and seven goals, and Lucio Martinez is right behind with nine points.

Rapid City FC (3-1) at Cleveland Crunch (2-1)
Season series: Cleveland leads 1-0

Cleveland will need to save some adrenaline for Sunday's game against Grand Rapids. If everything goes Cleveland's way both teams will enter this game at 3-1.

The Crunch beat Grand Rapids 10-6 on December 17, Rapid City's only loss thus far. Rapid City's Jacob Potts is second in MLIS with nine goals, and Nermin Crnkic is second on the team with eight points.

Cleveland's Austin Horton will be serving the second game of a two-game suspension. His hard slide tackle on December 17 broke Rapid City's Cole Russell's leg, ending his season.

Cincinnati Swerve (2-2) at Detroit Waza Flo (0-3)
Season series: Cincinnati leads 1-0

Depending on Saturday's result, Detroit will be looking for a weekend sweep, or will be trying to salvage their weekend with a win over Cincinnati. The Swerve, meanwhile, will be aiming to get back above .500

Andrej Novakovic leads Cincinnati with seven points and Fin Sallows and Kalu Abass lead the Swerve with five goals each.