Winning just wasn’t in the cards for the Lacoka Midget Warriors last weekend during their home tournament in Ponoka.
It wasn’t for lack of trying, however, as the Warriors made it to the B-finals Jan. 8 against the Salmon Arm Silvertips. The Warriors outshot the British Columbia team 36-10 but could not find an opening past their goalie, who managed to put a stop to all but one of their shots.
Despite the 2-1 loss coach Pete Hall wasn’t disappointed with the players’ performance stating this game was one of the best ones the Warriors played all season.
The players showed their desire to win, pushing to gain control of the puck at any opportunity they had. “That’s what we’ve been asking them to play like.”
“We competed with some pretty good hockey teams.”
The intensity was there, with most of the Warriors’ shots on goal happening in the first and second periods. An errant goal from Salmon Arm five minutes into the third period put the pressure on.
The Warriors, faced with no goals and now a two-minute penalty, had to work that much harder to keep the puck away from their side. Their hard work paid off.
Just four minutes later Lacoka was able to tie it up with a goal from Abby Sim. Getting the assist was Jaymee Klinger and Danielle Blacklock.
At this point both teams held on with the Warriors managing to get a few more attempts on goal but were unable to capitalize on them. Any chances at a win or overtime play were squashed when the Silvertips scored with 2:36 left in the finals.
Hall pulled the goalie in the last minute to try and take advantage of a face-off in the Silvertips’ side but the team couldn’t capitalize.
For provincial playdowns Hall said if the Warriors play like they played against the Silvertips, he feels the team will have a strong chance at making it to provincials.
“To get there though, everybody’s got to play really well. They have to play like this and a little more,” said Hall.
For the tournament, Hall said organizers invited better teams to give the Warriors a challenge. “We’ve had games in our league where we’re winning by 14 goals. It’s not much fun.”
For the rest of the tournament the Warriors lost their first game Jan. 6 against Edmonton Thunder 2-1; another close game for the team. This time Zoe Lorenz-Boser scored with an assist from Klinger.
The next day the Warriors played the Fairview Campbell Cruisers winning 4-3 in a nail-biting shootout. The teams were tied 3-3 at the end of the third. Jaymee Klinger made the only goal of the shootout and the Cruisers’ three tries did not make it, which helped secure Lacoka’s win.
Scorers for that game were Lorenz-Boser with help from Blacklock, Camryn Grant with help from Rachael Wood and the third goal from Jesse Stretch.
In league play the Lacoka midget team sits second in the league just behind Stettler.