Photo by John King – Ultiphotos.com
Ultimate is a sport of big moments – the long downfield huck, the layout goal, the end zone sky and the list goes on. Over the past four years of Major League Ultimate, those moments have been captured by our partners at UltiPhotos. In our series, Caught in Action, we will look at some of the great moments from MLU’s history and how they have been captured by the talented photographers at Ultiphotos.com. This week, we take a look at a moment captured by John King.
The Portland Stags hosted the Western Conference Final for the 3rd consecutive season in 2016. In both 2014 and 2015, the Stags were upset at home and denied their chance at the MLU Championship title. When the Seattle Rainmakers came to town looking to once again play spoilers to Portland’s title hopes, the Stags were determined to not let history repeat itself.
The Stags routed the Rainmakers, comfortably leading the the entire game. Early in the second quarter, the Stags benefitted from one of the best throws of the 2016 Season, courtesy of Western Conference Most Valuable Player, Cody Bjorklund. The MLU career leader in both scoring and assists, Bjorklund showed just how impressive his arsenal of throws is as he fired a gorgeous backhand huck right down the middle of the field.
Despite getting fouled by his mark on the throw, Bjorklund’s pass cruised right above the heads of the several Seattle defenders and right over the shoulder of teammate Eli Blackman who casually reached up and plucked the perfectly placed disc out of the air.
As Blackman snagged the disc, extending the Stags lead, the veteran thrust his arm in the air, waving celebrating the score, a moment captured by King forever.
Due to stellar plays by the likes of Bjorklund and Blackman, the Stags would hold on to secure their first Western Conference title in franchise history and punch their ticket to the MLU Championship (BOXSCORE – WATCH GAME).