Regals create work list after loss to Owen Sound
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Guelph Regals know they have plenty to work on following their Ontario junior B lacrosse league home opener Sunday at the West End Recreation Centre.
The Regals were dropped 15-6 by the Owen Sound North Stars for their third loss in as many league outings this season, the first two setbacks coming in road games at Elora and Orangeville.
“We need more communication on defence and we need to get our minds into the game before we step on the field for warm-ups,” Regals captain Quenton Begin said. “On offence, we’ve got to start picking into the middle, coming out, creating more time and space where we can get better shots instead of outside shots. All in all, we just have to play more as a team instead of as individuals.”
The players and coaching staff held a lengthy meeting immediately after the game to go over the team’s needs.
“We have a young team,” Begin said. “We’ve just got to work with the young players to help them out and communicate more.”
While the Regals didn’t have much to be pleased about following the game, they did take some solace from scoring the final three goals of the game and hope that’s a sign they can turn it around.
“We have heart – a lot of heart,” Begin said. “We didn’t give up when we were down by a lot. Near the end of the third we started playing our game and we started putting some points up. We got our defence to start talking and we took the ball away from them a couple of times and didn’t allow them to shoot on us. We’ve just got to play that for the whole entire game and I think we’ll be good.”
Owen Sound did have a couple of scoring runs in the match. Seven consecutive goals turned a one-goal advantage late in the first period into an eight-goal lead midway through the second. A six-goal spree that started with four and a half minutes to go in the second and finished a minute and a half into the third pushed the North Stars into a 12-goal lead. The visitors never scored after that.
The North Stars led 4-1 at the end of the first period and 12-3 after the second and they outshot the Regals 66-42.
The Regals would’ve felt a little better about their power play that went 3-for-10 if Owen Sound hadn’t scored three shorthanded goals. However, the hosts did hold the North Stars to a single power-play goal on eight man-advantage situations.
Liam Holwell hit for two goals and an assist for the Regals while Braydon Hickey had a goal and two assists. Jack Burke, Quenton Begin and Carter TenEycke also scored while A.J. Skirving had two assists and David Pavlinich, Begin, TenEycke and Cole Cook had one apiece.
Hayden Coulter connected for three goals and two assists for Owen Sound while Jordan Caskenette had two goals and four assists and Josh Deyell and Keegan Mcilmoyle each had two goals and two assists. Kurt Long and Alex Muzzell had a goal and two assists apiece while the other goals were scored by Josh Hamill, Reid Simmons, Dan Kitto and Mike Fiegehen. Spencer Elder assisted on four of the goals while Logan Swanton had three assists and winning goaltender Garrett Reed had two assists.
Starter Brady Wilson took the loss for the Regals as he allowed 11 goals on 38 shots before being relieved by Kent Bremner late in the second period.
The Regals have had a lineup that’s been in flux through the first three games of the season. They’ve used 24 players including 12 who played their first game of junior B lacrosse this season. That total includes eight of the 12 players who have played in all three games for the Regals.
“The younger guys will get more confident the more games they play,” said Begin who is in his fifth season with the Regals. “That will come with time. It’s their first year playing junior, it’s not minor any more. It’s a big step up.
“My first year it was an eye-opener the first three games. But I think they can pick it up in the next game.”
Next up for the Regals is a game against the London Blue Devils (0-6-0) at London Thursday night. The Regals are to host the Orangeville Northmen (3-1-0) at the West End Recreation Centre Sunday at 7 p.m.