Predators win first PGLL junior title

Daily Herald File Photo The Prince Albert Predators surround the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League junior division trophy after they won the title for the first time with a 7-3 win over the Regina Rampage at the Kinsmen Arena in June 2018.

The best team in the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League’s junior division proved it Saturday.

In front of a packed house at the Kinsmen Arena, the Prince Albert Predators defeated the Regina Rampage by a score of 7-3 to complete a clean sweep of the league final and win their first championship since the program was founded in 2003.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be part of the first Predators team to win the title,” Predators forward Ashton Hall said. “We were 13-1 this season and to do it in a clean sweep was amazing.

“I haven’t won a championship with any team before in seven years of playing lacrosse and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other group.”

Saturday’s triumph also marked the first time that a team outside of Regina or Saskatoon had won the league title since the Moose Jaw Chiefs accomplished that feat in 2007.

“Even before the game the guys were determined to take care of business in this game,” Chiefs coach Tyson Fetch said. “They didn’t want to go to that mini-game and that was the most focused I’ve seen them all year.

“They bought into the system and worked hard in every practice all season. They deserve this championship.”

Hall played a major part in the Predators performance this weekend, as he scored seven goals in two games to earn the most valuable player award for the playoffs.

He dominated the proceedings Saturday as he found the back of the net on five occasions.

“That’s all from my teammates,” Hall said. “The support and patience we have leads to our all-around teamwork. Everyone here’s a family.”

“Ashton’s played like that for the last two years with us,” Fetch added. “He’s the type of guy that will go and beat four guys by himself and put the ball in the back of the net. It’s a lot of fun to watch him play.”

Kale Amundrud had a goal and two assists in the title clincher, while Kurtis Peifer had a goal and an assist each.

The Rampage got two goals from Ayden Tawayak in the loss and also received an offensive contribution from Sandis Laswisse.

“They had a short bench but they came at us all game long, and they had us worried late when they closed in to three goals,” Fetch said.

“You can erase a lead like that in a hurry, so I was pretty worried until that last goal from Ashton with about five minutes left.”

Looking towards the future, the Predators plan to have a nearly identical squad to this year’s lineup next season as they look to defend the PGLL title.

“We’re losing two of our veteran guys in our captain Brendan Beaulac and Brody Low, but it looks really promising for the future with the amount of guys we have coming back,” Fetch said.

“It’s going to be tough for new guys who want to break in to our roster. They are going to have to work hard to earn a spot.”