If anyone is going to stop the Airdrie Mohawks’ dynasty in Alberta, it’s going to have to wait until next year.
The men’s box lacrosse team secured its fourth consecutive Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) senior C championship July 28, overcoming the Edmonton Warriors 7-5 at the Plainsmen Arena.
The victory capped off another dominant season for the ‘Hawks, which hasn’t lost against RMLL opposition in more than four years. The team is riding a win streak of nearly 70 games against Alberta opposition – an unbeaten run that extends back to July 2015.
“Our team has a lot of swagger,” goaltender Angus Jenkins said. “We’re confident – some people might say over-confident – but it’s just the way we play the game.
“We’ll enjoy this one, because there are a lot of guys in their twilight now, and they probably only have a year or two left to go. The league, as a whole, is getting better, but we’ve managed to keep pace with the other teams’ strides to stay ahead.”
The Mohawks coasted through the regular season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 218-58. Airdrie averaged more than 14 goals a game, while the defence kept opponents to fewer than four goals per game, on average.
The team’s offensive firepower continued in the post-season, with the Mohawks registering 36 goals in four games, while conceding 18.
According to Jenkins, the Mohawks’ continued success means the target on the team’s back is getting bigger each year.
“We’re just playing to that day where someone knocks us off,” he said. “And it’s going to be their…Super Bowl when they do it, because every year, we become more and more hated.”
The Mohawks’ championship series got off to the perfect start July 27, with a one-sided 14-4 victory over the Warriors. Division scoring leader Greg Bradley recorded two goals and five assists, while Randy Levick potted a hat trick and two assists.
The second fixture was much tighter. The Mohawks took a 5-4 lead into the third period, and it took a pair of goals from Erik Hansen and Brendan Potekal in the closing minutes to see out the result.
“The Warriors had a few more guys come out [for the second game],” defender Jason Werschke said. “They’re a great team, hardworking, and gave everything in the final seconds.
“Hats off to them, but it was our day today and we’ll take it.”
By winning the RMLL, the Mohawks typically extends its season by competing in the Alcan Cup – the western Canadian senior C men’s championship tournament – in Port Coquitlam, B.C. However, this year’s tournament took place the same weekend as the RMLL championship series, meaning the Mohawks couldn’t participate.
“It was a farce this year,” Jenkins said. “It went from 16 teams last year to four teams this year, and it’s a shadow of what it used to be.”
While the ‘Hawks is the undisputed team to beat in Alberta, it has yet to capture the western Canadian title. The closest the team came was finishing runners-up last year.
Knights fall in semis
Airdrie’s other competitive men’s lacrosse team – the senior B Rockyview Knights – fell in its division semi-final against the Calgary Mountaineers.
On July 25, the Knights lost Game 4 of its best-of-five series 11-4, ending the team’s season at the semi-final stage for the second year in a row.
Having downed the Knights 3-1, the Warriors will contest for the RMLL Senior B championship against the St. Albert Miners.