Predators strike early and often for big win on Sunday

Mason Crain of the Prince Albert Predators (right) battles for a loose ball with Avery Sewell (left) of the Regina Barracudas during junior lacrosse action at the Kinsmen Arena on Sunday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Predators bounced back from a close overtime loss on Friday with perhaps the most dominating performance of the Saskatchewan junior lacrosse season on Sunday.

The Predators scored early and often in front of a full house at Kinsmen Arena, defeating the Regina Barracudas 15-1 and outshooting them 53-28.

“There’s not really much to complain about,” Predators coach Lucas Wells said after the game. “I can get nit-picky and find things—and we’ll fine-tune those in practice—but overall, I mean, we had a pretty successful weekend.”

Brayden Rieger led the way with four goals and seven assists for the Predators, while Talon Sandry and Matthew Cudmore each recorded hat tricks.

Hayden Ulriksen scored a pair, and Caldyn Prediger, Ryley Prediger, and Braden Shewchuck added one goal apiece. Mason Hawkes stopped 27 shots in the Prince Albert goal to secure the win. The Predators improved to 8-0 on the season, while the Barracudas fall to 3-6.

Wells said he was impressed with his team’s ability to stay disciplined after the outcome was no longer in doubt.

“Our coaching staff and our leadership group, we have a very good handle on the guys,” he said. “We just try to keep them out of the melees, and stuff, and I mean, those are going to happen, but I don’t feel like when we’re beating them 15-1 or whatever the score may be, that a fight or anything stupid is worth it.”

The Predators came out flying, outshooting Regina 22-7 in the first period and building up a 4-0 lead. They increased their lead to 10-0 in the second before Regina got on the board, then added two more to go up 12-1 at the intermission.

Wells said it was a completely different game compared to the one they played on Friday against the Queen City Kings in their Founder’s Cup Qualifier.

The Predators are off until Friday when they travel to Swift Current to face the second place Wolverines.

““That’s going to be a tough one,” Wells said. “They always have good crowds, and they’re probably our biggest competition in this league.

“Then we go to Weyburn. We have yet to be in Weyburn. They’re a new team in this league, and I like the things they’re doing there. They’re putting on a show before the game, they’re doing a bunch of good things, and it’s nice to see our league growing in that aspect.”

Wells said they are still trying to schedule Game Two of their Founder’s Cup Play-in Series with Queen City.