Deadline deal providing Thunder
Lacrosse: Duston Doudelet, Bryce Brochu adding skill and experience
Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 06:00 am
It’s truly a small world in box lacrosse circles.
Okotoks Jr. Raiders general manager Dave Pym’s connections in the community continue to bear fruit as the team acquired veterans Duston Doudelet and Bryce Brochu from the Langley Thunder in a deadline move made between two members of the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits coaching staff.
“I’ve got a real good rapport with the Langley guys. Rob Buchan, their owner, is also an assistant coach with the Bandits. We’ve got a relationship that’s ongoing for a number of years now,” said Pym, a coach and scout with Buffalo. “They were struggling a little bit near the trade deadline and felt they didn’t have enough to win a Minto so they gave guys an opportunity to go places.”
The veteran duo add another dimension to the Okotoks offence. Brochu was a 42-point scorer in 11 games with the Thunder while Doudelet poured in 18 goals.
“Lacrosse IQ, experience, they’ll help settle the offence down a little bit in terms of ball movement and decision making,” Pym said. “They both can finish, both understand the game and have good vision to see the floor.
“We’re a young team and they can help settle the young guys down and can speak to some of the experiences they’ve had in Ontario and B.C.”
Many of those experiences have been shared.
Doudelet and Brochu are both from southern Ontario, are teammates on the Wheeling Jesuit University Cardinals field lacrosse team at the West Virginia school and both joined Langley for the 2014 season.
Not surprisingly, there’s considerable synergy on the floor between the two.
“We’re roommates down at school and I always just seem to find him, he always seems to be there when I have the ball,” said Brochu, who brings a playmaking element to the floor. “I like to have the ball on my stick and I’ve been taught from a young age that moving the ball is better than trying to take it yourself. The ball moves faster than your feet.”
Brochu, 20, has joined the Raider nation at a similar breakneck speed.
“The guys have welcomed me with open arms. I got here and there were guys waiting at the airport for me,” he said. “As soon as I got here I instantly knew we had something special.”
Transitioning from a Thunder squad outside of the playoff picture to a Raiders team starting its postseason run in a competitive series with the Sherwood Park Titans is exactly what the doctor ordered for Doudelet.
“I had a couple people tell me before I came here that (the Alberta Jr. A league) wasn’t the best, there is only a couple teams and the compete level isn’t there — I think that’s completely not true,” said Doudelet, a Toronto native. “Personally I love it. I’ve never got to play in a playoff game and it’s as exciting as can be.
“There’s nothing better than getting to play the same team in a series a couple different nights, especially one we’ve been battling with and have a pretty good rivalry with all year.”
As part of the transaction Brochu will return to the Thunder for the 2015 season while Doudelet, 21, will age out and end his Junior career as a Raider.
Doudelet is eager to mint his Junior career with a return trip to British Columbia. Under the new Minto Cup format, the B.C. and Alberta champions square off in a best-of-seven series to decide the Western representative at the national tournament.
“Ultimate goal as a team is the Minto,” Doudelet said. “People don’t think we have it, but we set our hopes high and every game we’re getting better, getting closer.
“Every win gets us closer. We need seven to get to B.C. and then we need four from there and who knows from there.”