Predators begin lacrosse season with encouraging win over Regina

Just eight shots beat Mason Hawkes on Sunday, as the Prince Albert Predators beat the Regina Barracudas 11-8. --Photo from Facebook/Prince Albert Predators Lacrosse

In their first full game of the 2022 lacrosse season, the Prince Albert Predators were matched up with a determined, larger, and talented Regina Barracudas club. The PA club was not intimidated by the big squad, coming away with an 11-8 win to kick off their campaign.

“It was a big win, and it actually came as a pleasant surprise to me,” head coach Tyson Fetch said. “I wasn’t sure where we would fit into the league this year because we’re fairly young. Only two of our veteran guys returned, so in this case, youth beat out experience, and it worked out really good for us.

“Our goalie, Mason Hawkes, played really well. And for our defense in our first full game played really well too. It was just a great team effort.”

Fetch mentioned that he was looking for some younger players to join the team and fit in through training camp. And with just two out of a possible seven veteran players returning to the team, they will have some big shoes to fill, but Fetch thinks they will be able to make a name for themselves in Junior B.

“We played the hand that we were dealt, really,” he explained. “These young players are coming in with enormous skill, skill level that we haven’t seen since I took over this team. The game has changed. It used to be a brute league where you had to be big and tough, but now that there are smaller and more skilled teams being formed, that gives you an upper hand. Now we have some speed on our team with a lot of these younger guys, and speed kills.”

Along with their speed, Fetch mentioned the play of Dillan Cochrane as a main factor in the Predators’ win over the Baraccuda. Scoring four goals in the contest, his offensive prowess will hopefully stick around all season.

“Dillan is a leader on our team,” Fetch said. “He’s wearing an ‘A’ and he’s a veteran. He’s got five years of experience at this level. We didn’t lean on him, he’s a quiet leader, but he came out and scored four goals. I think our other offensive guys fed off of that. I think it was just an overall team effort to win, it wasn’t just one person.

“We had goals from four or five players, but I think our defense was the reason we won that game. I don’t think we’re going to have trouble scoring goals this year, but I thought we were going to have to rely heavily on our goaltending, but our defense surprised me.”

The Predators began their season with a game against the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux, but the contest was called off in the second period due to slippery floor conditions. The game will be made up in Prince Albert at a later date.