It’s do-or-die time for the Rockyview Knights senior B men’s lacrosse team in its semi-final playoff series with the Calgary Mountaineers.
Down 2-1 in the best-of-five series, the Knights will have to scrape out a win July 25 to tie it up and force a fifth game July 27, with a spot in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) Senior B championship series on the line.
“We know, in the room, that this series is not over,” said team captain Taylor Crossley. “I have faith in the boys that we’re going to pull through and make this a five-game series, and then move onto the next round.”
Playing the first two games at the Stu Peppard Arena in Calgary, the Knights faltered, going down 8-5 and 15-6 to the Mounties – the Knights’ toughest rival in the RMLL.
“We know the intensity the Mounties bring every game, and that hasn’t changed all year,” Crossley said. “We weren’t prepared and didn’t show up to grit it out. They’re a battle team and we played soft, so it [was] disappointing.”
Crossley said the Knights had some good bits of play during the first two games, but didn’t do enough to keep up with the Calgary team.
“We had moments of brilliance where we’re playing our D-system great, creating turnovers and pushing the ball,” he said. “Our offence [was] working in parts – we saw some good swings, and then at different times, some good cuts.
“We just haven’t put it all together yet. As soon as it all clicks, we’ll be laughing.”
With elimination on the line, the Knights rallied to win Game 3 July 23, overcoming the Mounties 12-10 in overtime at the Plainsmen Arena.
Team manager Keith Berg said the team’s performance in Airdrie was much better.
“It was the same message as the start of the game – that if we don’t win today, there’s no more lacrosse this year,” he said.
“We had a 6-3 lead after the first period, so the boys came out ready to play hard. It was a solid defensive battle from both teams, and we got lucky with a two-goal run at the mid-point of overtime.”
The series has been a case of déjà vu for the Knights – the Airdrie team was in the same situation last season, going down 2-0 in a best-of-five series against the Mountaineers before fighting back to force a rubber match.
The Knights ultimately lost Game 5 in overtime last summer, narrowly missing out on the championship series. It was a setback that Crossley remembers well.
“We’re hoping for a different scenario [this year], absolutely,” he said. “[But] it’s promising to know that we’ve done it in the past and we can do it again.”
Game 4 is set for 9 p.m. at the Plainsmen Arena. If Rockyview wins, the fifth and deciding game will take place July 27 at the Stu Peppard Arena, with an opening faceoff of 1 p.m.
Mohawks beat Erratic
The Airdrie Mohawks senior C team is one step closer to achieving its fourth consecutive provincial championship.
The undefeated ‘Hawks swept the Okotoks Erratic 17-5 and 14-4 to qualify for the RMLL Senior C championship series.
Airdrie is the three-time defending senior C champion in Alberta, and hasn’t lost to an RMLL team in four years.
The Mohawks’ opponent in the championship series will be a familiar foe – the Edmonton Sr. C Warriors, which qualified for the final by beating the Blackfalds Silverbacks in two games.
Game 1 of the final series will be July 27 at 8:30 p.m. at the Plainsmen Arena. Game 2 will take place the following afternoon at 1:30 p.m., also at the Plainsmen.