With just three games to go in the regular season, the Prince Albert Predators are in control of their own destiny when it comes to having home court advantage for the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League’s junior division playoffs.
The defending league champions improved their record to 5-0-2 following a pair of games this weekend and have a one point lead over the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux in the six-team league.
“We don’t to look too far ahead with our road game against the (Estevan) Big Dogs on Saturday, but I know that our game against the Standing Buffalo on Sunday (at the Fort Qu’Appelle Rec Centre) is one everyone’s mind,” Predators head coach Tyson Fetch said.
“They are a really good team and they are right there with us in the standings. If we can beat them and hand them a loss, that might be the difference in hosting a couple of playoff games.”
In their last two home games of the regular season, the Predators played to a 8-8 tie against the Swift Current Wolverines on Saturday and followed that up with a 10-5 victory over the Regina Rifles Sunday.
Saturday’s showing left a bit to be desired for Fetch as they had numerous turnovers during the first half of the contest.
“I think we may have taken them too lightly,” Fetch said. “I noticed that we didn’t have a good warm-up and I asked the guys if they were ready. They said they were and I asked them to prove it.
“We never really found our groove against Swift Current. We missed a lot of passes and I stopped counting the amount of loose balls that we got beat on after the second period.”
The Predators had a bit of a slow start on Sunday against the Rifles, but were able to find their stride as the match went on.
“We had a little bit of penalty trouble and were down 3-2 early,” Fetch said. “Our goaltender Duncan Fetch made some big saves that allowed us to settle down a little bit, otherwise Regina would have had a 5-2 lead.
“Once we were able to win draws and gain possession, that was the recipe to our success. At this level, the team that has the ball the most is able to control the game, which is what happened on Sunday.”
There were some mixed emotions after the match, however, as Ethan Beaulac suffered a season ending knee injury.
“He had just worked his way back into the lineup from an injury so it was devastating to see him get hurt again, especially after he made an immediate impact for us with five goals in his first five period of the season,” Fetch said.
“That’s something you never want to see.”
The Predators will wrap up their regular season with a road game on Thursday, June 13 against the Saskatoon SWAT.