Ice take it on the chin on home floor
Lacrosse: Okotoks falls 20-5 to Red Deer to remain winless
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
As home openers go, this one came up snake eyes for the Okotoks Ice.
The Jr. B Tier II Ice’s first taste of home-cooking didn’t go according to plan as the Red Deer Renegades stormed into town and thumped Okotoks 20-5 on Sunday at Pason Centennial Arena.
“It seems to be the story of our year, a good first and a not so good last two (periods),” said Ice head coach Tyler Smith. “The refs kind of got in our head. We got rattled and once all that mucking in the corner got over, we came back a bit, but by then it was too late.”
The Renegades carried a modest two-goal advantage after an even first-period characterized by physical defending from Okotoks’ Nathan Nielsen and Manuel McAlister.
Okotoks then cut the lead in half on the powerplay shortly into the second period on a point shot from lefty sniper Nash Hartford. The celebrations would prove short lived.
The Renegades outscored the hosts by a 10-2 margin in the middle stanza to turn the one-goal game into a blowout by period’s end.
Red Deer didn’t let up in the final frame, putting up six more goals and reaching the 20-goal plateau. Things went from bad to ugly when Red Deer came to the defence of a teammate after a high-stick from Baardseth and went after the latter and Ice captain Darren Higgins.
“It’s 20-5 and they’re still acting like it’s a 2-1 game,” Smith said. “I wasn’t very impressed that they had three guys jump our captain who’s a quarter the size of everybody else.”
From undisciplined play to ineptitude on offence, a multitude of deficiencies led to the Ice’s downfall said Okotoks’ Cody Kirchhofer.
“Penalties, ball movement, we weren’t working the cycle,” Kirchhofer said. “We were just taking stupid penalties and getting into fights.”
It was the second convincing loss in as many days for the Ice who suffered a 13-5 defeat at the hands of the Strathmore Venom on Saturday.
The Ice will have to fight the urge to get back on the floor and atone for the losses as it faces a 14 day layoff in between contests.
In the meantime, the coaching staff is stressing perfect practice makes perfect.
“With this whole weekend, we’re trying not to get too down on them,” Smith said. “I’m trying to balance the nurture versus the get the job done. It’s a learning experience.”
The Ice next hit the floor on May 25 in Medicine Hat versus the Sun Devils and take a second crack at a home win on May 28 when it host the Calgary Axemen.
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