The Lacoka Bantam Locos came up short in their quest to repeat as Central Alberta Lacrosse League (CALL) champions.
Last week, the team fell in two straight games to the Olds Stingers in the best-of-three final series, first with a 13-7 loss in Olds Tuesday, June 25, followed by a 9-7 defeat Wednesday at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
“We were short a few kids on the first game and it hurt us a little bit,” said Locos coach Trevor Feragen. “The second game, we were playing with them the whole game and just couldn’t pull it off.”
In the first round of playoffs, the team bested the Red Deer Bantam B1 Chiefs 13-2 in a winner-take-all game on June 19. In the second round, they defeated the Red Deer Bantam B2 Chiefs in a two games series where the winner was determined by the number of goals scored with 12-5 and 14-9 victories June 21 and June 23, respectively.
The CALL final, however, was where they had a tougher time. Feragen said they were in the game for most of the game, however, being short on players due to exam schedules and injuries, ultimately was their downfall.
In the second game, they were up 7-6 heading in the third period and on the verge of pushing the series to Game 3, however, the Stingers scored three unanswere goals in the third, including an empty net goal, to take the championship, and give the Locos silver.
“We played good in the second game. We were up by two going into the third and then blew it,” he said. “We got into penalty trouble, but they tried hard. The kids played good and I can’t fault them for that.
“The one coach I coached with said ‘we can’t win them all can we?’ I said no, but it sure would be nice.”
Fortunately, they’ll have their shot at redemption against Olds during provincials in Calgary June 10-14.
“I said to the kids, ‘we’ll get them in provincials where it really matters,’” he said, but admitted they might be in tough given they’re in the B bracket of four different brackets, placing them against some of the province’s strongest teams.
“We just need to play as a team and not get greedy or try to do everything (by ourselves) and play really good, tough defence – that’s the key.”
The Lacoka Midget Locos, meanwhile, capped off their second straight season as CALL champions. The Lacombe Globe reached out to the head coach but was not able to get in touch before the time of press.