Midget Ravens drop pair

Home-arena advantage not enough to lift lacross club in close losses to Nanaimo, Saanich

  • Jun. 11, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Campbell River’s midget A Ravens played two lacrosse games at home last weekend but the friendly confines of Rod Brind’Amour arena weren’t enough to help them into the win column.

On Saturday, the Windsor Plywood Midgets fell 5-2 to Nanaimo. Nanaimo opened the scoring, but later in the first period Bryce Turko picked off an errant Nanaimo cross-floor pass and flew up the floor on a breakaway. A little bit of shake-and-bake preceded a snap shot into the top corner that rippled the twine and tied the score at 1.

Nanaimo regained the lead prior to the end of the first period with an even-strength goal.  The second period had a bit of an unusual sequence. An altercation left one player down and  multiple players headed to the penalty box. Both teams huddled at their benches while the injured player was treated and the penalties sorted out, leaving Nanaimo a power play.

But fans were surprised as play resumed with the Raven penalty killers still near their bench and Nanaimo attackers down near the Ravens’ goal. McLean tried to stay square to the ball but the four-on-none situation led to 3-1 edge for Nanaimo. To their credit, the Ravens kept Nanaimo off the scoresheet for the remainder of the five-minute major due great defence by Mason Osterhout-Code, Andy Hunt, Matt Leard, Ross Rickman and Reilly Doney.  Nanaimo pushed its lead to 4-1 early in the third. Luke Lund converted a nifty power-play passing clinic off assists from Rickman and Doney to draw the Ravens to 4-2, but in their push to attack and close the gap the Ravens lost the ball in transition and Nanaimo closed out the scoring on the ensuing rush.

Just over 24 hours later, the Ravens hosted the Saanich Tigers, with bantam call-ups Blake Doherty, Carson Foy and Reid Matthews helping bolster the roster. That bench depth proved key as the Tigers set up prime shots and used their speed to take a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Saanich extended it to 3-0 before Lund picked up a loose ball then did his own shake-and-bake to crack the goose egg and make it 3-1. The Tigers extended their lead with a solo breakaway goal and added another on a contested breakaway before the Ravens rallied.

Turko made a great pass to Rickman as he was cutting through the house and he made no mistake putting the ball into the onion bag to make it 5-2. Doney fired a howitzer top shelf to make it 5-3, but the Tigers regrouped and added one more to make the final 6-3.

“I’m proud of our players and our call-ups,” head coach Todd Fair said.  “We’re moving the ball much better but need to relax and have confidence to put the shot on goal. As coaches, we know our players are frustrated at losing games. We’re trying to get them to understand that they have made such huge strides in many areas this season and we’re not done yet.”

Notes: The Midget program gave a shout-out to the Novice Ravens, their parents and Discovery Foods for the fundraiser hot dog sale this past weekend. That event followed a CRML bottle drive the previous weekend that the club credits with keeping youth sports affordable and available to those who want to participate.