Predators preparing for first road trip of the season

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Prince Albert Predators goaltender Duncan Fetch reaches back to grab a loose ball during Sunday’s game against the Estevan Big Dogs at the Kinsmen Arena.

After three games in a little under a week at the friendly confines of the Kinsmen Arena, the Prince Albert Predators are about to embark on their first road swing of the 2019 Prairie Gold Lacrosse League junior division campaign.

The reigning title holders will travel south to face the Swift Current Wolverines on Saturday night before a Sunday afternoon contest with the Regina Rifles.

“Our guys should be ready to go, especially in facing a team like Swift Current who beat us twice in mini-games prior to the start of the regular season,” Predators head coach Tyson Fetch said. “We know what to expect from them and I think the guys realize that no one’s going to hand anything to us.”

“We know this league’s not going to be a walk in the park like it was for last year,” Predators captain Carson Remy added. “Everyone’s on their game this season and I think this weekend will really allow us to see the type of character that our team has.”

After opening up the campaign with a 21-10 win over the Saskatoon SWAT last Tuesday night, the Predators played to a 6-6 draw with the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux Saturday afternoon.

“They are brand new to the league this year, but they have some great coaching and some great players,” Fetch said. “A lot of the guys on our roster have grown up playing against many of their players, so we knew it was going to be a good matchup.

“I think the difference in that game was the play of both goaltenders (Ted Yuzicappi for Standing Buffalo and Evan Beaulac for Prince Albert) and how solid both defences were. That’s what made it a low scoring contest.”

Jakson Bergen had two goals and an assist for the Predators on Saturday, while Jaxen Dufour scored twice and had a pair of helpers for the visitors.

The Predators offence was clicking once again Sunday as they completed their three game homestand with a 21-6 triumph over the Estevan Big Dogs.

“If you look at the score, it’s pretty similar to our opener, but we didn’t come out to play in the first period,” Fetch said. “We were flat and we took Estevan too lightly.

“We challenged our defence to play better and we wanted our offence to pick up more loose balls, which they certainly did in the last two periods. It’s all about possession at this level. If we have the ball, the other team can’t score. It’s pretty simple.”

Tanner Vancoughnett was dominant on Sunday for the Predators as he scored six goals and set up four others.

Kale Amundrud and Remy both had hat tricks for the hosts, while Derian Pratt had a three goal afternoon for the Big Dogs.

Following this weekend’s road trip, the Predators will take the Victoria Day long weekend off before they welcome the Wolverines to town for a 6 p.m. matchup on Saturday, May 25 at the Kinsmen Arena.

Their final home game of the regular season will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 26 against the Rifles.