Sylvan Lake Novice Buccaneers lacrosse team finished the regular season with eight wins, three loses and one tie which put us in fifth place out of 14 teams. The novice division was extremely competitive this year with only four points separating the top six teams. Sixth place had 17 points and first place had 21 points.
We started the playoffs which was a double knock out format playing the Badlands Raptors N1 and winning 8-1 on Saturday morning, June 16. That afternoon we played our second game against Lacoka Novice 1 and lost 9-4. On Sunday we played the Didsbury Chargers Novice 1 and won 9-3. Our fourth game was against the second Didsbury Chargers Novice 2 team and we won 12-2 which kept us in the playoffs that were continued the following weekend.
We had yet to face our stiffest competition against both Lacoka teams which we had not beaten the entire year.
Our first game, last Friday night at 6 p.m. was a very tough time slot for our young men as they were given very strict nutritional directions on what to eat and when. We had to pull out all the stops to beat these guys and we played loud music in the dressing room to get as amped up as I’ve seen any team before hitting the floor. We came out banging the boards and using our warrior cries to pull a little something extra out of ourselves.
We finally beat them 5-4. We swapped punches back and forth with Lacoka the whole game and it was anybody’s game down to the final minutes.
Saturday was even tougher as our first game was at 9 a.m. and again the Buccaneers were given a bed time and nutritional instructions on what to eat and when.
We played the second Lacoka team and won 4-3 with the go ahead goal in the final minute. The official commented after the game that it was the best game he had seen at our level in all his time officiating lacrosse.
We suffered our second and final loss to a very worthy opponent, Red Deer Chiefs Novice 2, a team we had beat in a tournament earlier in the year, outside of regulation play, by one goal. We fought hard and had a one goal lead with two minutes left then Red Deer scored the tying goal. In the second overtime period they put the nail in our coffin and we took home the bronze.
Our boys did extremely well considering we were all first year novice players but two and the novice division is the first year for full contact lacrosse. Also noteworthy is that we never sustained a single injury all year long.
Next year we will be looking for provincial gold so we would like to invite our community to come out and get to know about lacrosse and support us in our efforts to make Sylvan Lake a stronger lacrosse community.
by Duane McBain – Special to Sylvan Lake News