A confident and controlled performance might be the best way to describe the Lakeland Heat’s effort on Saturday night.
Winning by a score of 13-2 over the Edmonton Warriors, the Jr. B lacrosse club improved their record to 8-4 on the season in their lone matchup of the weekend.
Scoring their first goal just 22 seconds into the contest at the RJ Lalonde Arena and adding another at the 1:13 mark gave the Heat a lead that they’d never look back from.
Coach Daryl Hodinsky was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We started out strong and got a few quick goals right off the bat, but then the tail end of the first period we kind of tapered off, and we got into some old habits of trying to hang on to the ball instead of passing it,” said Hodinsky. “Then in the second period, they did what they’re supposed to do, they moved the ball around and made the other team do all the work for them and found holes and found the back of the net.”
By the end of the 2nd period, the game was out of hand. They scored 11 unanswered goals in the first 40 minutes.
As a young team, the Heat are finding themselves in the upper echelon once again in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. They’ve won 8 of their last 9 games, losing only to the Sylvan Lake Yettis, who they believe to be the crème of the division’s crop.
The group is led by captain Danik Becotte, who is the team’s lone graduating player off the roster. With a younger group this year, he’s been a key cog in Lakeland’s success down the stretch.
“He’s playing on the defensive side, which isn’t very glorious, but he just does it so well. And we need a guy back there that can do that kind of stuff. And then I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but the way he can transition the ball up the floor is just unreal. He’s just like a little pinball out there,” said Hodinsky. “To have a guy like that on the team is so important.”
Becotte has relished the opportunity to be a leader in the dressing room and communicate with his teammates.
“I really try to lead by example. I am vocal in the room, mostly teaching systems, I don’t really like to discipline, I don’t think that’s my job, that is coach’s job. But I really tried to lead on the floor, you know, trying to win every loose battle, run as hard as I can to every loose ball, showing them that we win every loose ball, we’ll win the games,” said Becotte.
“This is one of those games where we practice our systems and really get to hone in on our jobs…everybody has a specific role.”
The Heat have their final regular season home game on Saturday in Cold Lake against the Sherwood Park Titans at 7:00pm.
But the team knows their last game of the year against the Lloydminster Xtreme will be a true test, after Lakeland fell in their season-opener against their closest rival.