The Moose Jaw Bantam Mustangs let their foot off the gas and got a scare Saturday.
© submitted photo
The Moose Jaw Bantam Mustangs won the Redgoat Classic Sunday
They weren't going to let the Saskatoon Tigers back in the game when they faced them for a second time Sunday.
After blowing a lead against the Tigers in pool play, the Mustangs beat the Tigers 9-1 Sunday in the final of the Redgoat Classic Bantam lacrosse tournament at Mosaic Place Sunday afternoon. They went unbeaten in the tournament.
"We had a real tight game in our second game (Saturday). We were up on (the Tigers) and they came back and put the pressure on us," said Mustangs head coach Chad Morash. "Our defence wasn't up to snuff. It was our second game of the day and their first after getting into town, so they were ready to give'er and we weren't. But we came back and managed to pull out a win."
After beating the Regina Rush 9-3, the Mustangs grabbed a 5-1 first period lead against the Tigers, but gave up four goals in 6:20 in the third period as the Tigers tied the game. The Mustangs prevailed 11-10.
The Mustangs beat the Estevan Warriors 18-1 in the semifinal before facing the Tigers in a rematch.
The Mustangs are unbeaten after playing three games in their league season. The Bantams won their league a year ago and also won the provincial box lacrosse title. The Mustangs are a talented bunch and Morash felt getting a test from the Tigers was good for them.
"A loss every one in awhile sets everyone straight and can be a humbling experience," said Morash. "We have a really skilled team and these players have been playing together for a lot of years and they have good chemistry. We got off to a strong start to the year in the Regina League and the Tigers put us to the test. They gave us a little bit of a wake-up call."
This is the second year for the six-team tournament. There were nine teams interested in taking part and Morash expects the next edition will be even bigger.
The bigger floor size at Mosaic Place was good for the Mustangs as well as they were able to use their speed and skill to create offence.
"We're a little smaller physically, but our skill sets us apart from the heavy checking," said Morash.
Mustangs 9 Tigers 1
The Mustangs scored the first five goals of the game. They had a 5-1 lead for the second time in two days against Saskatoon, but their defence tamed the Tigers the rest of the way in the final.
Nolan Jones scored four goals and added two assists for the Mustangs, while captain Quinn Ingalls had two goals and two assists. Kane Nolting, Crozier Holmes and Liam Kerr also scored.
Mustangs 18 Warriors 1
Ingalls scored three times and added five assists as the Mustangs blitzed the Warriors in the semifinal.
Bucky Reihl got the scoring started and finished with three goals. Jones, Nolting and Cole Morash each had two goals and an assist and Cooper Cole also scored twice.
Hunter Viczko and Josh Fitzpatrick each had a goal and an assist. Kerr and Brody Sims also scored.
Mustangs 11 Tigers 10
After the Tigers tied the game at 8-8 midway through the third period, Ingalls scored his fifth goal of the day to restore the Mustangs lead. He would add his second assist of the game on a Kane Nolting goal and Liam Glover added more insurance. That was important as the Tigers scored twice later and Glover's goal stood up as the game-winner.
Jones had two goals and an assist, while Viczko and Nolting each had a goal and an assist. Ashton Woodley scored and added two assists.
Mustangs 9 Rush 3
In the tournament opener Jones scored twice and had an assist while Ingalls and Kerr each scored twice. Jeron Kletzel had a goal and an assist, while Sims and Glover also scored. Cole had a pair of assists.