CALGARY, Alberta - Both the Alberta and the First Nations team entered Saturday on different terms. Alberta was coming off a decisive win against the sole Atlantic representative in Nova Scotia, whereas First Nation’s entered the game coming off a multiple-goal loss against BC earlier in the day. Despite the differing results both teams entered into the game with one loss, not seeking to obtain another.
The first period although tightly matched fell Alberta’s way with two consecutive, unanswered goals and a twenty-minute period of vigorous goaltending on both ends. However, a few miscommunications on the First Nations defensive end led to a pair of goals including a wide-open shot from Mathieu Gautier that found the back of the net prior to the end of the period. Alberta would enter the second period with a marginal two-goal lead.
The second period saw Alberta continue to score, putting up three additional unanswered goals against the First Nations defense. The glaring difference in the second period came down to the performance of Caden Rotter who was able to save all but one First Nations shot, while Alberta continued to find the back of the net from both outside and inside. The sole First Nations goal in the period and in the game came from Jared Hill, but the momentum was short-lived as Alberta’s Gautier was able to find the back of the net in the winding seconds of the second period, putting Alberta with a comfortable, but not safe 6-1 lead heading into the third period.
Temper, aggression, and maybe a bit of frustration began to set in during the opening minutes of the third period, which resulted in both teams having three players in the penalty box, followed by an offensive foul from Alberta that pushed the number up to four. After an Alberta four on four goal, the penalties expired and Alberta continued to play strong physical defense and reverse transition while imposing the same physicality on offense, which ultimately resulted in another even-strength goal and limiting the First Nations team to a single goal in the period. The stout effort from the Albertans led them to an 8-2 victory against a strong First Nations team.
Alberta will look to extend their winning streak to three as they take on Manitoba at 12:00 pm MST tomorrow, while First Nations will look for their first victory of the tournament against Ontario at 3:00 pm MST.
BY DALLAS SMITH
Alberta Lacrosse Association