Raiders battle to tie series
Lacrosse: Okotoks bounces back from lackluster effort
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 11:53 am
What a difference a day makes.
The Okotoks Raiders came up a big after a lackluster performance the night before to double up the Calgary Mountaineers 8-4 on Sunday to tie the Alberta Junior A championship series at 1-1.
The Mountaineers took Game 1 of the series by a 7-6 score Saturday at Stu Peppard Arena in Calgary.
However, the Raiders went to work for Game 2, said Raiders head coach David Pym.
“If you don’t bring your work boots and your lunch box and not be prepared to get your knuckles dirty, you are going to be on the wrong side of the score,” Pym said.
The guy doing a lot of the work was captain Brett Baron, who was named the offensive player of the game after scoring a pair of goals in the victory. The feisty captain has been hampered with an injury for much of the season.
“He’s been battling an injury for most of the year — in fact we rested him in the opening series of the playoffs to ensure he was 100 per cent for the final,” Pym said.
“He dropped a couple of balls in Game 1, but he sure made up for it in Game 2. I thought he had his best game of the year for us.”
Raider Cam Copland was glad to have the captain back in the line-up.
“He has such a great ability to put the ball in the net,” Copland said. “And to just get us going.”
Baron opened the scoring for the Raiders in Game 2 to give Okotoks a 1-0 lead — the first time they had the lead in the series.
The Raiders would up their lead to 2-0 when Kevin Pym scored a power-play goal from Holden Cattoni and Jordan Getz.
The Mountaineers got right back in the game when Patrick Henry scored to close the gap to 2-1 with 2:08 left in the first period. Okotoks would go into the dressing room with a two-goal lead after 20 minutes on a goal from Aaron Tackaberry.
Okotoks would extend their lead to 6-1 in the second stanza on even strength goals from Baron and Matthew Kristiansen and then a short-handed effort from Cole Sheen.
However, the Mountaineers took advantage of a Raiders brain-freeze and scored two power play goals before the end of the second period to make it 6-3.
The Raiders would add goals from Jordan Getz and Anthony Joshua Kluck in the final 20 minutes en route to the victory.
Pym said Okotoks goalie Michael DeGirolamo was brilliant in net.
“That was a world-class effort,” Pym said. “He was solid in the pipes and played well. He was also solid in Game 1.
“Anytime you can give up just seven goals you should win the game.”
Mountaineers coach Rick Windl said the Raiders strangled the team defensively in Game 2.
“Their defence was very strong and we weren’t able to bury the ball like we did the night before,” Windl said. “They were able to capitalize on their opportunities.”
The Raiders were like a frustrated climber in their loss in Game 1. Every time they thought they reached a peak, there was yet another hill to climb.
The Raiders never led in the 7-6 loss.
“Our offence was tragic,” Pym said. “We played on the perimeter all night long and threw the balls to the outside and no one could catch it.”
The Raiders got three goals from Cattoni, and single tallies from Getz, Baron and Kristiansen.
DeGirolamo had a solid game in net for the Raiders.
Windl said home floor advantage has swung to the Raiders, whose speed and athleticism fits well in the spacious floor of the Pason Centennial Arena.
Game 3 is scheduled for tonight (July 31) at 8 p.m. at Pason Centennial Arena in Okotoks. The two teams will square off for Game 4 on Saturday at 3 p.m. also in Okotoks.
The series will return to Calgary’s Stu Peppard Arena Sunday at 8 p.m.
Game 6, if needed, will be Aug. 8 back at the Centennial Arena.
For more information go to www.rockymountainlax.com