Tuesday , 5 July 2022

Jr. B Heat on a 6 game win streak heading into pivotal weekend contest

What do you call a six game win streak? Certainly a heater.

And the Lakeland Jr. B lacrosse Heat have been turning up the temperature since an 0-3 start. Make it six straight for the Heat after a pair of victories on the road last weekend over the Edmonton Warriors and Parkland Posse.

With a 6-3 record, Lakeland will try to upend the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s top team in their division this Sunday in the Sylvan Lake Yettis, who have yet to suffer a loss.

In their previous matchup, the Heat held the Yettis to under 10 goals — the only team to do so this year.

The defence has been a catalyst for success over this recent streak.

“Honestly, our defense has stepped up dramatically,” said coach Daryl Hodinsky. “From the beginning, I’ve seen a steady improvement since the first three games. And we’ve just continued on from there.”

“The boys are able to pot goals on offense, so we’re starting to move the ball offensively quite well,” he said.

Players like Michael Legge, Bret McLeod, Hayden Bishop, and Jaxx Gale have been chiming in the offensive side of the floor, but it’s a well-rounded group who have come together, says Hodinsky.

“There’s a lot of trust throughout the team. That’s come up a few times for the boys that some of them are feeling that they’re being trusted, and they’re trusting others. So I think that’s huge when you’re playing a team sport to trust that your team member is going to do his portion of the workload.”

Compared to the other incarnations of the club, Hodinsky says this year’s edition of the Heat is a little more disciplined, but also have players that can get mean when they need to.

“They got to work for one another — it’s not working for their mums or dads or their coach necessarily, but it’s for each other. I really find that this year. They’re spending time out of the box, a little bit more disciplined this year than we have been other years. So I think that also has helped a lot too,” he said.

The Heat play Saturday against the Red Deer Renegades and then face the Yettis in a rubber match Sunday afternoon.

After this weekend, the Heat play their next two at home, before closing out the season July 9 against the Xtreme.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.