Local team reaches final in first season of senior men's box lacrosse
The Moose Jaw Chiefs completed their first season with a lot of success, but without a title.
Moose Jaw Chiefs
The local senior men's box lacrosse team lost the provincial final Sunday 16-9 to the Saskatoon Brewers. The Chiefs beat the Regina Heat 13-12 Friday to advance to the final.
"Overall it was a fun season," said Chiefs captain Steve Michaluk. "You never want to lose, but the guys enjoyed themselves and it sounds like they want to come back for next season."
The Chiefs boasted a talented lineup of players that had enjoyed a fair amount of success as junior players. However, they were a few years removed from the Moose Jaw Mustangs junior dynasty era.
"Going into the season some of the guys didn't even know each other and maybe weren't aware of our potential," said Michaluk. "Now the guys have a year of experience and a lot of them hadn't played in a long time. Most of these guys hadn't touched a stick for anywhere between five and eight years."
Brewers 16 Chiefs 9
Saskatoon stormed out of the gates and gained a 6-2 lead in the first eight minutes of the game. They led 8-3 after the first period and it was too much for the Chiefs to overcome.
"They just kept coming. They're a really quick team. They have speed and some great outside shooters," said Michaluk. "They were finding the corners and unfortunately we had a tougher job at the other end in beating their goalie. He played an excellent game."
Erik Hyde was tending goal for the Brewers and he stymied the Chiefs' shooters. Michaluk lamented that he struck iron five times against Saskatoon earlier this season, but the Chiefs' leading scorer wasn't able to get that close to scoring in the final.
"We made our share of errors as a group, but they're a good team. You have to give them credit for the job they did out there," said Michaluk.
Carter Davis scored four goals for the Chiefs, Taylor Dobrescu scored twice, while Jay Fellinger and Tanner Kittler each had a goal and an assist. Eric Chevrier scored the other Chiefs goal. Taylor Dobrescu also added a pair of assists.
Chiefs 13 Heat 12
The Chiefs opened the scoring, but trailed 5-2 midway through the first period before scoring six straight goals. The Chiefs enjoyed an 8-6 lead after the wild opening frame and wouldn't trail again.
"Our offence couldn't get on the floor for the first five minutes of the game," said Michaluk. "We needed to get possession of the ball. The guys worked hard the rest of the game to get the ball off of the face-off and our face-off teams did a really good job. The defence tightened up a little bit and it went our way on Friday night anyway."
The teams traded goals in the second period and the Chiefs built their lead up to 13-10 before the Heat scored twice to get back to within a goal with 3:24 remaining.
"We got down early and came back and beat them by a goal. They certainly gave us all we could handle," said Michaluk.
Taylor Dobrescu scored three goals and added three assists and Todd Doepker added three goals and an assist.
Steve Michaluk added a goal and three assists and Kittler scored twice. Fellinger and Tyler Dobrescu each had a goal and two assists. Chevrier and Logan McCartney also scored.
The Chiefs scored four power-play goals.