Predators celebrate 20th anniversary

Photo by Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. Joe Bexson performed the ceremonial ball drop as part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations ahead of the Prince Albert Predators PGLL game on Saturday night at the Kinsmen Arena.

Ahead of Saturday night’s game, the Prince Albert Predators paid tribute to alumni and people who have helped shape the program into what it is today.

Prior to ball drop, several alumni were announced and introduced to the crowd in attendance at the Kinsmen Arena and the team unveiled their 2023 Prairie Gold Lacrosse League (PGLL) championship banner.

A ceremonial ball drop was performed between the two captains with Joe Bexson receiving performing the drop.

Bexson was the original head coach and general manager of the Predators when the team first joined the Saskatchewan Major Junior Lacrosse League (SMJLL) back in 2003. The SMJLL has since been rebranded to the PGLL.

Bexson says the whole night was special to see where the organization first started from versus where it is today.

“This has been a real honour for me and just a real treat to see where lacrosse has come from, (you) go back 20 years and we just had no idea that it would grow to this capacity and it does my heart proud to see where it’s at now.”

The Predators are attempting to make history for Prince Albert lacrosse by attempting to qualify for the 2024 Founders’ Cup. After winning their first play-in game against Saskatoon on Friday, the team will face the Queen City Kings in a best-of-three for a chance to advance.

Bexson says the reason Prince Albert lacrosse is seeing so much success is because of the development being done at the younger levels.

“It’s not only the Predators, but all the youth lacrosse, the level of play that’s come up now. It just is incredible. These players on this Predators team give back to the grassroots of lacrosse. That’s just strengthening lacrosse here and it’s really good to see where lacrosse has come from in these past 20 years.”

Of the alumni introduced by the Predators, several were still involved with the sport of lacrosse or the team in some aspect.

“That speaks about Prince Albert in general.” Bexson says. “Whenever there’s volunteer things that need to be done, Prince Albert steps up and the lacrosse community really digs in for that because when we started, nobody knew what the game was about. So now, to see this game flourish the way it has and a testament to the Predators of today, it just is incredible to see where it’s come from and we had a lot of good people out there tonight at the opening ceremonies. Quality people have created a quality program in Prince Albert and it just does my heart good.”

Predators rout Mustangs

In PGLL action Saturday, the Predators routed the Moose Jaw Mustangs 23-2.

Brayden Rieger led the charge offensively with nine points for Prince Albert. Bennett Acorn and Chase Lehner both recorded their first PGLL goals while Oliver Volek earned his first PGLL win in goal in relief of starter Mason Hawkes.