Predators back in action with two games this weekend

The Prince Albert Predators celebrate a goal earlier this season at the Kinsmen Arena in Prince Albert. --Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

After suffering their first loss of the season last Thursday to the Saskatoon Jr. Swat, the Prince Albert Predators will look to get back in the win column on Friday and Saturday when they take on the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux.

“We haven’t seen each other for more than a period, and it’s been nearly a month since we played them last,” coach Tyson Fetch said. In their first meeting of the season, the game was called off in the second period due to a lack of floor traction.

“I think both teams have changed quite a bit,” he added. “I think their record doesn’t indicate an outstanding season, but I never take opponents lightly. The game of lacrosse is unique where anyone can win a game. We need to come out and play hard, and we can’t take them lightly, because they’re not going to let us come away with a win.”

One of the things that has changed about the Predators is the addition of three veteran players. Davin Ikert, Caidyn Prediger, and Kade Beaton joined the team earlier this season after returning from playing college lacrosse in the United States. Fetch says their leadership on the team since their arrival has been a key factor in the team’s recent success.

“Their work ethic that they bring to practices and to games is great for the young guys to see. Their leadership in the dressing room, on the floor and on the bench just shows that they are great gentlemen on this team. It’s been a really important factor on our season so far.”

With the young group that the Predators have this season, it may be surprising to some that the team is just one point out of first place in the PGLL standings. But, the team has managed to put together a string of strong performances, which Fetch gave a lot of credit to their work on the floor.

“Even though we’re a young team, I think maturity has been a big thing with us. We have some games under our belt, and now our guys know what it feels like to win and lose, and they know how it feels to take a hit and to give one. Just overall, that experience that we’re getting has really helped us.”

While losing at any point in the season is never fun, rebounding from last week’s loss against Saskatoon will be huge if they can pick up a pair of wins this weekend. Fetch says losing their first game of the season was an important learning curve for the Predators’ young core.

“I think that we learned something from that loss,” Fetch explained. “Going forward, we won’t come out flat like that and play too terrible periods of lacrosse again. With that said, it’s up to our kids to bring that intensity and be ready to play. We can only do so much in  practice, but they have to be ready to play. I think tonight they’ll be ready. They were pretty excited at practice on Thursday. They were loose, but at the same time they still fully participated and took it seriously.”

Opening faceoff on Friday from the Kinsmen Arena in Prince Albert is at 8 p.m. The Predators and Fighting Sioux will continue April 30th’s postponed game on Saturday in Melfort with a 1 p.m. faceoff.