The Estevan Tarpon Energy Juvenile Big Dogs lacrosse team lost home games to the Regina Rifles on May 24 and the Saskatoon Smash the following day.
In a 25-10 loss to the Rifles, the leading scorer for the Big Dogs was Rhett Handley, as he had four goals. Tanner Froese, Mark Moriarty, and Dylan Smith each scored twice; Smith also had four assists.
Despite the loss, coach Evan Handley was impressed with the efforts of goaltender Teanna Sieben, who was called up from the midget team.
The Big Dogs took an early two-goal lead in the first period, but mostly trailed during the game.
Evan Handley said that defensive issues led to the loss.
“We needed to be better in our own zone and we weren’t,” said coach Handley.
The team also committed numerous of penalties, as they had two fighting majors and an ejection.
“With a team that good, and you’re in the penalty box, it just doesn’t work,” he said.
The following day, Estevan suffered a 29-18 loss to the Smash, but coach Handley was impressed with the play of his offence.
“We did score 18 goals, that’s a ton for us, and I’m very, very happy with that,” he said.
Rhett Handley again led the team in scoring as he had seven goals and seven assists, while Smith had six goals and eight assists. Marshal Holzer had a goal and four helpers, while Moriarty, Cole MacCuish, Brady Long and Ty Currie also scored.
The Big Dogs gave up a lot of shots, Evan Handley said, and didn’t capitalize on the Smash’s mistakes.
Overall, coach Handley said scoring 28 goals over the weekend was huge for the team. He also noticed defensive improvements were made in each game, but says they are still making the little mistakes.
“We did do some things well defensively, but that being said, we gave up a lot of goals both games, so we need to be better,” said coach Handley.
Going forward, coach Handley would like to see his team capitalize on the loose ball battles.
“I think the biggest key for us is winning the loose ball battles,” said Handley. “Lots of times we’re getting our sticks in front of the other teams...but then we have to get that that ball when it goes in the corner.”
The Big Dogs' next action will be at the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League Festival May 31 and June 1 in Regina. Estevan will be playing the Yorkton Bulldogs and the Smash on the 31st, and the Prince Albert Predators on the 1st.
An all-star game between teams from the north and the south will be played on the 31st.