The Sylvan Lake Bantam Buccaneers bounced back in glorious fashion from a previous loss. The team’s 5-3 win on Sunday, against Blackfalds was a redemptive move, coming at the end of a closely contested game.
“We came off the first loss of our season against Red Deer on Friday [June 2] night. Unfortunately, we had a very poor performance,” said Head Coach Bill Moody. “Sunday’s game was a big one, because we had to get back on track. As a team, they played a lot better on Sunday.”
In an interview with the Sylvan Lake News after June 4’s game, Moody said he hopes the Bucs’ loss and subsequent win will give them the momentum and discipline they need to prepare for the final game of the season.
Last Friday’s game against Red Deer aside, Moody added the team had a very good season – pending the results of the Bucs’ final game of the season, there is still a chance for them to finish first in the league, he noted.
Moody stressed how close Sunday’s game was, saying the Bucs “never scored the go-ahead goal until 10:09 of the final period of the power play.”
“Blackfalds played a very good game, and came at us with lots of high pressure – they forced us to make plays,” said Moody, describing how Sunday’s game played out. “We wanted a team effort, and they responded. [The Bucs] came through, and there was no one player that stood out – it was a better entire team effort that got us back on track.”
Moody noted that Sunday’s victory was significant, because “Blackfalds is a pretty good team.” That was why it took so long for the Bucs to score the winning goal, and add in an “insurance goal” shortly afterward, to guarantee the win.
Moody said a problem he believed to have plagued the Bucs in last Friday’s game against Red Deer was complacency borne of a series of easy wins in prior matches of the season.
“We were really pumped to have a spotless season, with no losses. But I think this group needed that loss. They were starting to get complacent, and not working as hard as they should, because some of our games have been pretty easy,” said Moody. “That loss woke them up a bit – now they understand that nothing comes easily.”
Moody emphasized the Bucs needed Sunday’s decisive victory, to be able to clench a potential season-ending victory.
“Our second year players played better, and we need them to be our leaders, heading into the playoffs,” said Moody. “We will be playing Olds. With a victory, we clinch first place overall – and with the home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“We are hoping this will give the kids the motivation, going into this coming final game, to finish on top, so they can play in front of our home crowd,” said Moody. “They’re focused, back on track, and hopefully everyone is on the same page. This home town advantage will be big.”
To read about the outcome of Wednesday night’s season-closing game, and how the season finished for the Bucs, check out next week’s sports section in the Sylvan Lake News.