Week One Brings a Win for the Miners

by Aidan Rai

Following an exciting opening weekend, the ice has been broken between the Miners and the SWAT.  The two teams split the duo of competitions played over the weekend with the SWAT taking the first game 11-7 and the Miners rebounding the following day with a 15-9 victory. 

The standouts for the weekend included SWAT’s Quinn Ingalls, who put up 4 goals and 4 assists over the two games, and the Miners’ Ethan Forgrave who, despite being ejected in the first period of game 1, racked up 5 goals and 4 assists over the weekend.

Discipline for both teams was an issue over each game as the SWAT accumulated 35 minutes of penalties in game 1 and 31 minutes in game 2, and the Miners posted 35 and 25 minutes respectively.  Spending more than half of a game in the penalty box makes it difficult to achieve success in a competitive league so we can be certain that both clubs will be focusing on strengthening their discipline as they go forward.

While each team managed to fill the net decently well, the early season cobwebs were apparent for each team on both sides of the ball.  Defensive assignments were missed, and the ball failed to move as quickly as expected.  As the season goes on, we can expect each team to become crisper and surer as players return from university and they settle into the routine of the season.

When looking at this new Miners team it is clear that they are not the same youthful and unprepared squad of past seasons.  This team is older; this team is stronger, and this team is smarter.  The merging of the two Edmonton teams has given birth to a confident group of young men who are primed to compete against the best that this league has to offer.  While not an incredibly big team, their speed and skill allows for some fast paced play when all the components work appropriately.  If this team can work out the kinks of their offensive and defensive systems we could be in for some wildly entertaining Edmonton lacrosse this summer that could be geared for success.

The SWAT’s DNA is similar to Saskatchewan teams of seasons past.  They are a physical and powerful gritty team that can wear down the opposition.  While not perfect, their defense is aggressively aggravating to play against, and their offense has the firepower to put numbers up on the board.  It is a testament to the resilience of this group of players that they can play such a style effectively given their exhaustive travel schedule.  We can expect this team to be competitive down the line as they have been over their past few seasons.

Our first taste of junior lacrosse has come, and while not perfect, each team is stocked for a potential championship run.  Once the Raiders and the Mounties take the floor this weekend the season will be in full swing and each team will enter an epic war for the top spot in the league.  Who will sit upon the throne once the dust has settled?  Keep your ears to the ground and eyes on the ball because this season will be a rowdy one.