The Sylvan Lake bantam Buccaneers are riding victory into their next games after a closely contested victory over the Innsfail B2 Phantoms on May 3.
“It was a tight game,” said Assistant Coach Shawn McKinnon after the Buccaneer’s 6-4 victory on Wednesday evening, at the NexSource Centre. “We had three or four guys who were sick, and [several team members] went in thinking it was going to be an easier game for us, so they came out a little flat. We were looking to get them going a bit.”
The game turned out to be far closer a competition than the Buccaneers expected it to be, and was locked in ties for the first two periods.
“It was goal-to-goal for a while,” said McKinnon. “It was 1-1, then 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4 at one point. I think they actually went up 4-3 very briefly, but the third period is when we kind of took the game over.”
Eventually, McKinnon said the Buccaneers took hold of the game with a rally in the third period, “getting going a little better, after that slow start.”
“It was a real battle for the first two periods, and there wasn’t too much hustle,” said McKinnon. “In the third, some of our second year players really stepped up, and got a few critical goals to give us the win.”
Sylvan Lake’s win on Wednesday evening puts them at an undefeated record of 3-0 in the season – a three-way tie with three other teams who have the same lossless record so far.
McKinnon suggested that the victory against Innisfail served as a reminder to keep on the intensity for the Buccaneers.
“Innisfail was 0-2, coming into the game, so we maybe underestimated them a bit,” he said. “We had a good talk afterwards, to wrap it up, about consistency – our team sees the importance of consistency and working hard, every game.”
Working hard, McKinnon contended, will be useful going into its next games, since the Buccaneers will be playing against two of the other undefeated teams in the league, in the next two games.