It took two periods for the Prince Albert Predators to get rolling, but once they did they were unstoppable.
The Predators used an eight-goal third period to blow open a close contest with the visiting Saskatoon SWAT on route to a 20-8 victory at Kinsmen Arena.
The win gave the Prince Albert club their 10th victory of the season, and further strengthened their hold on the top spot in the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League Junior Division.
“I think the other team got a little tired,” Predators head coach Tyson Fetch said after the game. “They’re a lot smaller than us. They’re a lot younger than us, so they got scared and they got tired and I think that played well for our offence.”
Despite controlling play for most of the first two periods, the Predators constant penalty trouble allowed Saskatoon to keep the game close. Goals from the Predators’ Brendon Beaulac, Brady Low and a pair from Brady Buhler were enough to give the home side a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission. However, the visitors responded with six goals of their own in a penalty-filled second period, closing the gap to 9-7 with just two minutes to go.
“Even though we outscored them in the first period and outplayed them in the first, we were just taking too many penalties,” Fetch said. “We had 29 minutes in the first two periods. That kind of hurts when you’re playing. We calmed down as a team and said, ‘let’s beat them with our skill,’ and we did.”
The Predators scored three goals in the final two minutes of the second, including two goals in the last 20 seconds, to take a 12-7 lead into the third period. They then poured in another eight goals in the final frame to cement the victory.
The win gives the Predators a 10-1 record with one game left in the season.
“They responded really well in the third and took it to (the SWAT),” Fetch said of his team’s performance. “That’s how we should play every period against them.”
Low led all Predators in scoring with four goals on the night, while Brendon Beaulac, Ethan Beaulac and Tanner Vancoughnett all had hat-tricks. Carson Krogsgaard led the way for the SWAT with four goals of his own.
The two teams are scheduled for a rematch at Kinsman Arena in the season finale on June 14. Game time is 7:45 p.m.