After not being able to play in 2020 due to pandemic-related restrictions, the Rockyview Silvertips are finally back on the floor.
Cochrane’s junior B box lacrosse team kicked off a shortened 2021 season on July 4 with a 13-12 overtime loss to the Calgary Chill. The back-and-forth exhibition game, which the ‘Tips led until late in the third period, was played at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.
“A lot of people came out and saw some good lacrosse,” said Steve Henry, the Silvertips’ interim head coach. “We had some Silvertips alumni there as well, which was great to see. People are excited to get back to normal and see some competitive lacrosse.”
While the junior B team is only playing exhibition fixtures this summer, Henry said the players are excited to be back in action after the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League season was called off in 2020.
“We tried to do what we could with the restrictions in place, but now that they’re fully gone, we can have the whole team out there and it’s good to get some games in,” he said. “A lot of these guys haven’t played box lacrosse since 2019.”
Playing their first game in nearly two years on July 4, the Silvertips stormed out of the gate, leading the Chill 5-2 after the first period.
But a string of penalties in the second frame meant the home team played much of the middle stanza down a man, allowing the Calgarian squad to claw their way back into the contest and reduce the deficit to just a single goal.
After two periods, Rockyview led 8-7.
“There was a lot of energy,” Henry said. “It was the first junior game for a lot of players. They were super excited – the Chill is a team we like to play against, as they’re in our division.”
The game was on a knife’s edge throughout the third period as the clock ticked down. With a minute left, Henry said the Chill tied it up to force overtime. The visitors then scored during overtime to claim the win.
The Cochrane-based team likely had a sense of Déjà vu in their subsequent game on July 7 against the Calgary Mountaineers. Despite leading late in the contest, the Silvertips conceded a goal in the final few seconds that allowed the Mounties tie it up 9-9, before the Calgary team scored in overtime to seal the victory.
Rockyview’s next games occurred July 10 and 11 (after press time) against the Lethbridge Barracudas and a repeat with the Mountaineers.
Next up for the Silvertips, Henry said, will be a tournament hosted by the Okotoks Marauders from July 19 to 24. Rockyview will warm up for that tournament by playing the Marauders on July 15 in Okotoks. The ‘Tips’ tournament schedule includes games against the Lethbridge Barracudas on July 19, the Calgary Mountaineers on July 21 and the Calgary Shamrocks on July 22.
While the team will not play any more games in Cochrane this summer, Henry said he enjoyed seeing local sports fans turn out for the team’s first games since 2019, and added people are excited to have live sports to enjoy again.
For more information on the Silvertips, visit the team’s Instagram page – @silvertipslacrosse