Two consecutive defeats have put a damper on the Rockyview Silvertips’ rocking start to the 2019 season, but the squad’s 6-3 record is keeping the Junior B Tier 1 lacrosse team competitive.
After nine games, Rockyview is in second place of the Tier 1 Central Division of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL). The Cochrane-based team’s most recent outings included a 9-5 loss to the Central Division-leading Calgary Chill May 30, and a 10-8 home defeat June 2 at the hands of the Calgary Mounties.
Head coach Derrick Henry said discipline was a deciding factor against the Mounties. The Silvertips spent nearly a third of the game playing shorthanded, compared to just 12 minutes by the Calgary team.
“We did get some shorthanded goals, but you’re still killing your offensive momentum, so we really struggled there,” Henry said. “We had a couple of mental lapses on defence, but we had a chance to win.”
Rockyview started on the back foot by going down 4-2 in the first period, with the team’s only goals coming from fifth-year Matthew Dyck and rookie Hunter McChesney. The home team improved its play in the second frame, with Dyck scoring two goals to complete an early hat trick while Tanner Lam fired a shot into the net to make it 5-4.
Calgary managed another goal in the final few minutes of the frame, and at the end of 40 minutes, the score was tied at 5-5.
“I think we play similar styles when we’re a man up on defence,” Henry said. “We were able to get them away from their game plan, but they were able to do the same thing to us.”
After a cagey first two periods, the goals started flying in fast in the third stanza, with the Mounties bulging twine five times and the Silvertips knocking in three. McChesney grabbed his second goal of the game, while Nolan Oakey and Colby Gulutzan also found the back of the net.
Despite a spirited attempt at a comeback, Rockyview was unable to reverse the two-goal deficit in the final few minutes.
“We needed to move the ball around more on offence,” McChesney said. “I think we got pushed around a little bit, but we can always bounce back from that.”
With three assists and a goal, Oakey’s performance kept him at the top of the scoring charts in the Central Division, with a total of 16 goals and 27 assists so far this season. As of June 5, the Airdrie native has a healthy 13-point lead over his nearest competitor – Brett Marshal of the Mountainview Mavericks.
The Silvertips was back on the floor June 6 (after press time) to take on the Mavericks in Olds, before returning to Cochrane to face the Chill June 9.
“This year, we have a really strong team and we can really do well,” McChesney said.
“After these two losses, we just need to pull together and get a W in the next game.”
The Tips’ next fixture will be June 16 at the Spray Lakes Family Sports Centre, against the Mavericks. Opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.