The Estevan Tarpon Energy Juvenile Big Dogs lacrosse team opened their 2014 season by splitting a road trip against northern teams.
Their first game was a 10-8 loss against the Prince Albert Predators. The game was tied at 6-6 after the second period, but Prince Albert outscored Estevan 4-2 in the third.
Rhett Handley finished with three goals and two assists, while Spencer Strand scored twice in his first game with the Big Dogs. Tanner Froese, Marshall Holzer and Mark Moriarty also scored.
The following day, the Big Dogs scored six times in the second period in an 11-8 win over the Saskatoon Steelers. Handley was in on the Big Dogs' first six goals, and finished with five goals and three assists. Froese added three goals and an assist.
Moriarty, Austin Ludwig and Ty Currie also scored. Marshall Holzer had four helpers.
“We did a lot of things well,” said coach Evan Handley. “The kids worked hard for the entire game both days. We had a short roster … for both games, and we battled really hard. Our defence played exceptional all weekend.”
Prince Albert and the Smash are two outstanding teams, so to limit them to 18 goals between two games is impressive, Evan Handley said.
The Big Dogs also avoided surrendering goals in bunches – an issue that has hurt them in previous seasons, the coach said. But they can still improve their defensive play, and they can move the ball in a more efficient fashion.
Estevan also needs more players for its games.
“You can't go up to PA or Saskatoon, and play with 11 or 12 guys,” the coach said. “We used APs (affiliated players) in both games. Both APs who played did extremely well, which bodes well for the future of our minor program, and for the Big Dogs.”
Strand had an impressive showing in his Big Dogs debut, while Rhett Handley and Froese had strong games. Currie and Moriarty played well.
Estevan will visit the Regina Rifles on May 10, and then host the Steelers the following day at 1 p.m. at Affinity Place.
The Estevan Harris Oilfield Senior Impact team dropped a pair of lopsided decisions, 22-0 on May 3 and 24-1 on May 4, during road games against the Moose Jaw Chiefs.
Blaine Byers was in goal for the first game, while Cody Hagman played goal in the second. DeShawn Klassen had the Impact's lone goal.
The games were the first for the Chiefs, but Impact head coach Jody Harris said the Chiefs were not an expansion team.
“All of them have been on a team that has won provincials, and 80 per cent of them have represented Saskatchewan at nationals,” said Harris.
The Chiefs players were capable of putting on a clinic, she said.
Harris said she isn't concerned about the scores, and she was pleased with the Impact's improvements in each 20-minute period.
“For development and team-bonding, it was an awesome weekend,” said Harris. “In the last game, in the third period, we had six sequences in a row on defence where we regained possession, or forced Moose Jaw to use their full 30-second clock. So that's a huge accomplishment.”
Moose Jaw had at least 100 shots on goal in each game, she said.
The Impact will get another shot at the Chiefs when they host Moose Jaw on May 10 at 7 p.m. and May 11 at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at Affinity Place.