Adanacs Eliminate the Raiders 11-5, Advance to Face the Excelsiors in Best-of-Five Finals
CALGARY, Alberta – For the second straight night the Okotoks Raiders faced an elimination game, this time facing a Coquitlam Adanacs team who lost their first game of the tournament against the undefeated Brampton Excelsiors team. The Raiders although coming off a victory over the now eliminated Calgary Mountaineers, faced an Adanacs team that thoroughly dominated them in their opening match of the tournament. Nevertheless, the winner of tonight’s semi-final match-up would move on to face the Excelsiors in a best-of-five series to crown a National Champion.
The Sunday match-up played out much differently than the first encounter between the two teams, most notably in the first period. In their first encounter, the Adanacs posted nine goals in the period, a lead the Raiders simply could not overcome. However, in this game, the Raiders managed to hold the Adanac’s excess of offensive weapons to only four goals in the period. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders added an additional four goals of their own, two of which came from Carter Brand. Both teams would exit the first period tied at four goals apiece, looking to recover, regroup, and break the stalemate.
It would be the Adanacs’ Dennon Armstrong who would break the four-goal stalemate quickly and decisively with just over a minute into the second period. The early momentum led to Larson Sundown extending the lead by two, after scoring a minute later. With the two-goal advantage, the Adanacs defense finally began to settle in. They caused turnovers, forced the Raiders to expire the thirty-second clock, and most importantly, stayed out of the penalty box. The durable and determined defense, spearheaded by their captain Reid Bowering and goaltender Christian Del Bianco gave up a single goal in the period, giving them control of the game and a modest two-goal advantage after forty minutes of play.
The final period of the game, and of the Raiders 2018 season, mirrored the first game between the two teams. The Adanacs completely controlled the final twenty minutes of play, most notably on the defensive end. However, this is not to discount their offensive effort, which stayed consistent, adding four goals from four different players. Nevertheless, the difference in the game was the Adanacs defense that held the Raiders scoreless for over thirty-four minutes to close out the game. With their impressive defensive performance, the Adanacs would win 11-5 and will move on to the Minto Cup Final, where they will face the currently undefeated Brampton Excelsiors.
The Finals for the 2018 Minto Cup will begin on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 7:00 pm MST at Max Bell Arena.
Dylan Foulds (2 Goals, 4 Assists)
Christian Del Bianco (39 Saves)
Levi Anderson (0 Goals, 4 Assists)
Elijah Uema-Martin (37 Saves)
BY DALLAS SMITH
Alberta Lacrosse Association