Outlaws open season this weekend with pair of home games

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald James Halliday of the Prince Albert Predators attempts to swipe a loose ball away from Chris Secundiak of the Saskatoon SWAT at the Kinmen Arena last season.

It’s been a long wait for the Prince Albert Outlaws since their last competitive game.

A little over 10 months since they captured the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League’s B-side final in the senior division over the Saskatoon SWAT, the Outlaws will start off their 2019 campaign at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against the Regina Heat at the Kinsmen Arena.

They will then conclude their weekend home stand with a 2 p.m. contest Sunday as the Estevan Impact will come to town.

“As we left practice Thursday night, you could tell that everyone was just looking forward to getting back into the saddle and getting the games underway again,” Outlaws player-coach Lawrence Holizki said.

“We were originally going to be starting our season last Friday (against the Meewasin Valley Plainsmen), but we’d probably end having no players with everyone either at the (Saskatchewan) Rush playoff game in Saskatoon or Game 1 of the WHL final for the (Prince Albert Raiders).”

After posing an 8-7-1 record in their second season in the PGLL, the Outlaws will have a slightly different look to their squad this year as they welcome players from last year’s junior division champion Prince Albert Predators.

“We picked up six guys from that team, and we’re a little more aggressive and younger as a result,” Holizki said.

“The speed and skill has what’s impressed me the most so far. I’m fired up to see how we do once the season begins.”

Holizki also hopes that the new additions will allow him to take more of a coaching role this season.

“It’s not the best situation when you are both coaching and playing,” Holizki said. “It’s a little bit tougher to try and direct things out on the floor instead of being on the bench.”

After this weekend’s home slate, the Outlaws will go on the road next Thursday night to take on the Saskatoon Brewers, who have won the last three league championships.