Predators split weekend in Regina

Prince Albert Predators forward Ashton Hall makes his way past Regina’s Joe Grams during P.A.’s 13-10 loss to the Riot at the Kinsmen Arena in May. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

The Prince Albert Predators lacrosse club is looking forward to starting the playoffs Friday against a familiar foe.

The Predators wrapped up their season with a pair of road games against two Regina teams over the weekend, beating the Riot 13-11 on Saturday before falling to the Rifles the following afternoon by a score of 14-5.

The win against the Riot was the first victory for P.A. over a Regina team this season.

“In the first game we played fairly well,” said coach Tyson Fetch. “We didn’t give up a lot of chances.”

It was a different story in the second game as the Preds gave up eight breakaways. The Rifles scored on seven of them.

“There’s the difference in the game right there,” said Fetch. He cited a breakdown in the transition between offence and defence as a reason for giving up all those rushes.

But there was another factor in the Sunday game – the Predators were short. They only had 15 runners dressed, as opposed to their usual 18.

“We were pretty tired by that,” Fetch said. “We just ran out of gas. We couldn’t keep up with them anymore.”

The playoffs begin this Friday with a visit to Regina to take on the Riot. Fetch doesn’t see the need to change much, coming off a victory against the team this past weekend.

“We know what to expect from them,” Fetch said. “We just finished playing them on Saturday. We beat them. They beat us once, but I think if all my guys are healthy, we should be able to beat them.”

Fetch said the team has come a long way this year. An entirely new defensive system was introduced this season. It took about four games for the team to adapt.

They also improved their technical skills.

In the early part of the year, players were dropping passes in practice. One player dropped the ball nine times.

“We’ve come a long ways in that aspect,” Fetch said.

“We don’t drop as any passes and we’re better at picking up loose balls.. Since the fourth game, we’ve been playing well as a unit.”

The playoffs begin Friday at 8:15 at the Al Ritchie Arena in Regina.