The competition wasn’t the only the heat a pair of local lacrosse teams faced at provincials over the weekend.
With daytime temperatures in Lethbridge ranging between 27 and 36 degrees C over the three day tournament, it was more about survival of the fittest than simply beating the opposition at the Alberta Lacrosse Association minor box provincial championships July 7 to 9.
That said, both the Lacoka Locos peewee B and midget B squads managed to win a bronze medal at the event.
“It was so busy, with all of the divisions there, and just so hot,” stated peewee Locos head coach Trevor Feragen.
“The group played a good team game, focused on ball movement and good communication, and not relying on individuals.”
The bronze medal game on Sunday was tough, as the Locos had to fight back from a 2-1 deficit after two periods to walk away with the hardware with a 3-2 victory.
The club finished the round robin with a record of two wins and two losses — beating St. Albert 8-5 and Medicine Hat 8-2 while losing 7-1 to Lloydminster and 8-2 to a Calgary squad.
“With it being so hot, we had a fan on each end of the bench along with cold wet towels on everyone’s neck and lots of extra water,” Feragen said. “Even with that, the players were tired and had a hard time bouncing back in our last round robin game.”
However, the Locos may well have been playing for gold if the schedule had room for a true round robin among the six teams. The only club the Locos didn’t face was the host from Lethbridge — who had just one win at the event.
For the Locos midget club, a 16-9 win over Westlock in the bronze medal game was a bit of redemption after a tough loss in the last round robin game pushed them out of contention for the final.
A determined host Lethbridge team, which went on to win gold, defeated the Locos in the last round robin match Saturday and left the Locos to ponder what might have been.
It was a good start to the championship for the Locos, which defeated Westlock 9-7 on Friday morning. That victory was short lived as, later that afternoon, Wainwright dumped all over the Locos by a score of 10-3. Hope was restored for a shot at the final with a 16-4 shelling of Grande Prairie on Saturday morning, but then crushed by the loss to Lethbridge that evening.