Campbell River Bantam Ravens learning the ropes

They enjoyed the benefits of a full bench of 17 runners for the game and kept their composure throughout

The Windsor Plywood Bantam Ravens played Juan de Fuca (aka Westshore) 1 on Sunday at Rod Brind’Amour arena.

They enjoyed the benefits of a full bench of 17 runners for the game and kept their composure throughout.

The Ravens proved they’ve been listening to the coaches during practice as they engaged the Westshore attackers.  While on the penalty kill, Nolan Fair was able to run precious seconds off of the clock.  And in the spirit of the best defence being a good offence, he then took it up the floor for a shot on goal but the Juan de Fuca (JDF) goalie made a tremendous save.  JDF scored a couple of quick goals just before the end of the first period to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Many of these Ravens are still getting their bearings as they’re playing box lacrosse for the first time or after a long hiatus. Throughout the game they tried to do the simple things like setting picks to support the ball-carrier and getting the ball up the floor efficiently.  They worked on improving their line changes and recognizing when to go/not go for a change.

In the second period, David Lavigne took on four JDF players on a rush but wasn’t quite able to make the final pass to an open Raven in front of JDF’s net. Gavin Hope engaged his check while keeping an eye on the ball to try and pick off a pass. Kodie Borton suffered an equipment failure and had to leave the game in the second period. JDF kept the pressure on the Ravens and scored three goals to lead 5-0 at the end of the second.

Rookie goalie Will McLean did his best to keep the Ravens in the game, making many good saves. One of the most spectacular came as JDF had three players in a mini-horseshoe in the Ravens’ crease…all alone. The ball reached them cleanly. The three amigos looked at each other to decide who would be the shooter while the Ravens scrambled to get back on defence.

One pass to get McLean to move followed by another pass then a wicked shot fired on goal, heading into the bottom corner…only to be denied by a huge kick-save.

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that it seemed that JDF had more breakaways in this game than the Ravens had shots on goal.

Ultimately, McLean saved 52 out of 60 shots as JDF blanked the Ravens 8-0.

Ian Hall, Reilly Doney, Max Nelson, Riley Wellman, Daniel Gilson, Owen Boyd, Andy Hunt, Dawson Brown, Jasper Osterhout-Code, Cole Gent, Connor Ludvigson, Nick Kool and Thomas Dunn all gave a tremendous effort but the Ravens just came up short on this day against the team currently in second place of the twelve-team B division.

Coach Todd Fair is proud of the way the Windsor Plywood Bantam Ravens are competing to the final buzzer.

As he said at the start of the season, this isn’t about W’s and L’s.

The focus this season is on improvement and each player has a different area they need to work on.

Ultimately they need to believe in themselves and each other while continuing to learn some of the basic and finer points of the game.

Their confidence will develop and strengthen over time.

As long as they work hard, do their best and have fun, it just doesn’t matter what’s on the scoreboard.

Ravens next home game is at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday May 27 at Rod Brind’Amour arena against Oceanside.

Come and check out Canada’s national summer sport for yourself.