Raiders Outscore Mountaineers in Final Two Periods to Win 10-6
CALGARY, Alberta – The first elimination game of the tournament took place between the Calgary Mountaineers and the Okotoks Raiders in Saturday Night’s primetime slot. Both the Mountaineers and the Raiders entered the game without a win, desperately looking to eliminate each other and advance to face the Coquitlam Adanacs in the Semi-Final. At an initial glance, the Raiders appeared to have a slight upper-hand after being competitive in their previous game, whereas, the Mountaineers had not. Despite this perceived advantage, both teams had played each other extremely close in the RMLL Championship which lasted seven games.
The first period, much like the earlier game between the Coquitlam Adanacs and the Brampton Excelsiors, saw a plethora of penalties in the first twenty minutes. The accumulated penalties left both teams with very few equal strength possessions, as both teams had multiple extra-man and man down possessions. The Mountaineers took advantage of their early extra-man opportunities, as Jake Gillis scored two consecutive goals on the man-up, the only two goals for both teams in the period. In the first period, the Raiders offense found it difficult to find the back of the net against Laine Hruska, despite multiple good chances. The Mountaineers exited the period with their first lead of the tournament by a score of 2-0.
As the penalties subsided, the scoring increased both for the Mountaineers and the Raiders. The Mountaineers added three goals in the period, two from Jake Foster and a single goal from his brother Ben Foster. However, the Mountaineers offensive presence was intermittent, as was their defense, especially in the transition game. The Raiders began to push the ball down the floor in transition and attack on unsettled situations resulting in several goals. The most notable example of this came from from Levi Anderson, who scored a goal on an unsettled situation and an additional run down the floor produced a 3 on 1 break that led to an Owen Ritchie goal. The Raiders produced six goals in the period, pushing them slightly ahead of the Mountaineers by a score of 6-5 after forty minutes.
The Raiders dominated the final period of play, smothering the Mountaineers offense and reducing them to mostly outside shots and 1 on 1 dodges that Uema-Martin stopped easily. On the offensive end, the Raiders continued to score, posting four goals from four different players in the period. The Raiders would outscore the Mountaineers 10-4 in the last two periods and advance in the tournament with a 10-6 victory. For the Mountaineers this ends their season and their chance at a Minto Cup Championship.
The Okotoks Raiders (1-2) will face the Coquitlam Adanacs (2-1) in a second straight elimination game tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm MST.
Brett MacIntyre (2 Goals, 2 Assists)
Levi Anderson (3 Goals, 1 Assist)
Elijah Uema-Martin (36 Saves)
Liam Diebel (3 Assists)
Jake Foster (2 Goals,1 Assist)
Laine Hruska (39 Saves)
BY DALLAS SMITH
Alberta Lacrosse Association