Regals give up last-minute goal to lose to Welland
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Guelph Regals couldn’t work any last-minute heroics this time.
The Regals surrendered a goal with 46 seconds to play to lose 12-11 to the Welland Generals in Ontario junior B lacrosse league play Sunday night at the Sleeman Centre.
The hosts did have possession in the dying seconds of the game, got a shot away, but didn’t net the equalizer.
“We were able to stick in there, we just weren’t able to finish,” Guelph head coach Ken Hastie said. “For them to go out on that six-on-five and get the shot off and execute it, I was happy with that. That’s a play that these kids have never practised. You’ve got 30 seconds (in a timeout) to say ‘Here’s what we’re doing and go out and do it’ and hats off to them. They made the attempt and they got the shot off.
Friday night the Regals scored twice in the final 10 seconds to edge the St. Catharines Spartans.
“I’m happy with them tonight,” Hastie said. “Welland had some good outside shots and we lost our legs going into the third. That just made the difference.”
The game was the third for the Regals since their coaching change and third in four days.
“It’s a challenge for me coming in halfway through the season,” Hastie said. “Obviously, I would have different systems and philosophies than the previous coach. I’m really trying to take them and take what they’re doing and sort of mold it into something that’s going to work to finish off the season.”
Hastie said the team will work on its defensive play at practices this week.
“We need to work on our defence,” Hastie said. “We’re a defence-first team. If we weren’t before, we are now. We’ve got to make sure that we have a system in place that’s going to be able to capitalize and get some wins.”
Three goals in the final 66 seconds of the first period Sunday gave the Regals a 5-3 lead at the end of the period. They were up 9-7 after the second before Welland scored three in a row to start the scoring in the third and put the Generals ahead.
Liam Holwell connected for five goals for the Regals while A.J. Skirving, Ben Heidecker, Carter TenEycke, Quenton Begin, Reed Kurtz and Jack Burke each scored once. Begin had three assists while Braydon Hickey had two and Heidecker, TenEycke, Holwell, Kurtz, Kent Radbourne and Zach Sanders had one apiece.
Brandon Porga netted four goals for Welland while Sam LeClair and Zach Main had two each. Talon Badawey, Nick Villella, Bailey Fournier-Higgins and Peter Hryniuk also scored while Badawey and Zach Main each had four assists, LeClair and Brodie Thoms had three each, Porga and Tanner Main had two each and Fournier-Higgins and Hryniuk had one each.
Welland improves to 3-9-0 with the win while the Regals fall to 2-11-0.
The Regals have a simple aim for the remainder of the 20-17 season.
“The goal for the rest of the season is progression,” Hastie said. “We want to keep getting better than the last game. We didn’t pull that off tonight, but since I took the position, we haven’t had a practice. We’ve had three straight games without any kind of practice. We’re going to be working on it and we’re going to see that progression for sure.”
Next up for the Regals is a game against the Windsor Clippers (8-3-1) at Windsor Saturday night.