Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Bantam Rock net fourth in the province

For the Westlock News

The Westlock Bantam ‘B’ Rock lacrosse team played their hearts out, but had the bronze medal snatched away from them in a 7-6 OT loss to the Wainwright Wolfpack at the Alberta Lacrosse Association’s Bantam ‘B’ Provincial Championship in Grande Prairie on July 12.

“It wasn’t sudden death, but it was close to the end of that 10-minute period (before they scored). We did have a chance to come back and we didn’t,” said Rock head coach Shane Boulerice.
Despite of the tough end to the tourney, Boulerice was impressed with his team overall.

“The boys did really good. It was a tournament where you have the best lacrosse teams in Alberta,” said Boulerice.

“So I think our boys were right in that calibre. They competed the whole time and had a never quit attitude.”

The Rock started the provincial tourney July 10 with an uphill battle in the round robin, losing to the Wolfpack 10-5 in the morning and then losing a second time in the afternoon to the Lethbridge Barracudas 10-9 — the Barracudas final goal came in the final 10 seconds of the game.

“That was a tough one,” said Boulerice. “We were going to go to overtime with that one but we never got there.”

The club’s difficulties continued into the next day with a morning loss to the Red Deer Chiefs 13-3 before the Rock finally turned it around, edging the Strathmore Venom 6-5 to qualify for the bronze medal tilt.

“That was a really close game. Well played by the boys,” said Boulerice. “Strathmore played really well too.”

The defeat is a somewhat disappointing footnote to an otherwise outstanding season.

The Rock finished their regular season third overall in the Greater Edmonton Lacrosse Council, but then crushed all challengers in the playoff taking the gold and earning the right to appear at provincials.

Boulerice believes the team is on the right track for next year and just needs to keep practicing their skills.

“I always say lacrosse is about three things — passing, moving and shooting,” said Boulerice.

“They got the passing down a little bit, but they need to work the moving and getting more shots. The team that shoots, passes and runs will be the team that wins.”

Boulerice said he wanted to thank the town of Westlock for being behind his team, and has high hopes for next year.

“I just hope that the kids can bring back the level of competition that they had this year,” said Boulerice. “And take it to into their everyday lives too — that they don’t give up and keep pushing forward the whole time.”

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