Collapses conclude streak

Matthew Gourlie
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Canucks drop two straight to finish regular season

The Moose Jaw Canucks won't be heading into the playoffs on a high.

Kyle Wilson from the Moose Jaw Canucks singles in recent Prairie Major Baseball League Midget AA action

Though, perhaps coming in grounded will be a good thing for the local Midget AA baseball team.

The Canucks had their nine-game winning streak snapped in an unfortunate fashion Sunday in a 10-9 loss to the Moose Mountain Mavericks. They followed that with a 15-7 loss Monday night on the road to the Regina White Sox.

"All good things must come to an end and it did — in a hurry and maybe not when we wanted it to come to an end," said Canucks coach Kevin Smith. "We want to go into the playoffs coming up this weekend on a positive note, so it's okay. We had to lose at some point in time. I think it's better to have it happen in the last couple of nights than this weekend coming up."

The Canucks hadn't lost in 10 games and were leading Moose Mountain 9-3 and then gave up seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to see their streak snapped.

Monday night in Regina they gave up 14 unanswered runs against the White Sox.

"We actually had the game won and had a bad inning in the bottom of the seventh and lost the game," Smith said of the Moose Mountain loss. "(Monday night) were up 7-1 and had a bad inning or two and maybe just lost a little focus and lost the game. I think maybe the boys are getting a little tired."

The Canucks will be hosting the consolation playoffs in the Prairie Major Baseball League's Midget AA division this weekend at Ross Wells Park and Blackwell Diamond.

Smith is hoping that their two collapses will be a good reality check for a team that was playing sub-500 baseball heading in July before getting red hot.

"I think it will help us to re-focus," said Smith. "When you get on those kind of streaks, you maybe get some victories when maybe shouldn't be or maybe things are coming easier than they should be. So you maybe lose a little focus. It's a good wake-up call going into the weekend, that's for sure." 

The Canucks will host Assiniboia on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., before meeting Weyburn at 1:30 p.m. Both games at Ross Wells Park.

The Canucks are in a pool of three teams, while the other pool has four teams. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals. 

"They're two pretty good ball teams in our pool. We're going to have to come ready to play this weekend," said Smith. "We're going to need to put together a good weekend of ball and get ready for provincials the next weekend."

The Canucks (10-6-4) will finish sixth in the PMBL standings, but opted to host the "bottom seven" playoff tournament. They were in a crowded pack in the middle of the standings when the league was looking for a playoff host. Their nine-game unbeaten run would have put them in the regular playoffs, but Smith isn't too worried about it as they focus on the Midget AA provincials in Yorkton in two weeks.

"They needed someone to host it and no one was stepping up and when we were asked if we wanted to host it we were fluttering around the seven or eight position" said Smith. "We're going to see all of those (top-eight) teams at provincials and maybe we'll surprise some of them since they haven't seen us in awhile.

"The playoffs are important, don't get me wrong, but in baseball the focus is always on provincials."

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