The junior Sylvan Lake Yetti [6-1] managed to pull off their first victory of the season 14-10 over the Medicine Hat SunDevils, which fortuitously coincided with the grand opening of the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake.
“It was a great night, considering it was during the official grand opening of the NexSource Centre,” Coach Peter Bryentonsaid. “It was nice to get the win to coincide with that. The event was great and the whole atmosphere was great. I got thefeedback from the players that they couldn’t believe the level of support they were getting. The folks came out whether theywere young or old, and it was a really good feeling. They were real proud to represent their community on the lacrossepitch.”
Many of the minor Lacrosse Buccaneers were present at the Yetti game - they were some of the most vocal fans of theevening.
“The players really appreciated the support,” Bryenton said. “It is really important for us. We are not trying to just attractfans, we are trying to build the game in Sylvan Lake. We want to create an atmosphere where young players love lacrosseand they could eventually be Yetti one day. We are keen to grow support in our home town.”
Being able to win on their home pitch is a welcome respite for the Yetti, after having to play all their games on the road lastseason.
“There was a lot of motivation from the level of support,” Bryenton explained. “Last year we didn’t have a home rink, so thatmotivation wasn’t there. The players are really motivated to deliver for their teammates, but also for the fans. When youhear an ovation like that, it is really gratifying.”
Part of the keys to victory, according to Bryenton, was to have his players stay out of the penalty box - a consistent issuethroughout the early part of the Yetti season.
“It was important for us to try to stay out of the box,” he said. “We took the odd penalty, but we were able to pick up acouple short-handed goals. Those were the turning points for us and where we were really able to seal the win.”
Bryenton believes that getting the victory should lead to more wins in the future.
“We got a taste of what it feels like to win and that can become extra motivation,” he said. “We know we like that feeling, sowe are going to try to get another one. We know a bit better about what works and what doesn’t, so that is something weare looking to build off.”
He added, “it was nice to get a win over the Mother’s Day weekend, with a lot of the players’ moms in the stand. That waspretty special.”