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Knights draw even in playoff series with Mountaineers

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:48 am

Calgary Mountaineers forward Don Haynes (left) found himself having to deal with the blocking attempt by Austin Nieuwdorp of the Rocky View Knights during a game at the Plainsman Arena in Airdrie on July 20.
Calgary Mountaineers forward Don Haynes (left) found himself having to deal with the blocking attempt by Austin Nieuwdorp of the Rocky View Knights during a game at the Plainsman Arena in Airdrie on July 20.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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After losing the first game of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) Senior B playoff series by a score of 5-2 to the Calgary Mountaineers on July 18, the Rockyview Knights was eager to bounce back in game two of its series on July 20.

In front of a supportive crowd at the Plainsman Arena in Airdrie, the Knights rebounded in a big way, as the team cruised to an 8-3 win over the Mountaineers to even up the best-of-five series at a game apiece.

“We played a lot better as a team,” Knights goaltender Geoff Rainsford said.

“In the first game of the playoffs, we didn’t get a lot of good chances on offence, but we were able to capitalize on our opportunities in this game.”

“We didn’t play that badly on defence in our first game of the playoffs, but we were even better tonight,” he added.

“We created a lot of pressure on their shooters, and we made it a lot harder for them to get a shot on net.”

The key turning point in the contest came midway through the third period, when the Knights found the back of the net three times in a two-minute span to extend its lead to a comfortable 7-1 margin.

“Lacrosse is a game of momentum,” Knights Head Coach Gareth Bartley said.

“After we got that first goal, the guys were hungry to keep that momentum going, and they were able to extend the lead as a result.”

“We came into this game with a lot of focus after losing our first game of this series, and that showed with how well the guys played,” he added.

Even Rainsford got in the scoring in the third period, as he fired the ball into the empty Mountaineer net when the team had six players on the court to try and cut the deficit down.

“That’s the first time I’ve scored a goal since I was a forward as a kid,” Rainsford said.

“They had the extra player out there, and I had enough time to take a shot after I got the ball, so I figured I would give it a go.”

“I was just trying to get it on net,” he added.

“I knew it would have to get a good bounce in order to get into the net, and it ended up going perfectly down the middle for me.”

The Knights will try to take the series lead in game three of the series in Calgary on July 24 when it will take on the Mountaineers at the Stu Peppard Arena in Calgary in a 9 p.m. clash.

The fourth game in the series will also take place on July 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Stu Peppard Arena, while a fifth game, if necessary will be held at the Plainsman Arena in Airdrie on July 27 at 5 p.m.

“It’s always nice to have that fifth game at home, but we’re hoping to have the series wrapped up by then,” Bartley said. “If we play like we did in the second game of the series and take fewer penalties, we should do well against Calgary for the rest of the games,” Rainsford added.

In the other RMLL Senior B semi-final series, the St. Albert Miners had a 2-0 lead over the Edmonton Outlaws heading into the third game of the best-of-five affair in Edmonton on July 23 (after press time).


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