The Crossfire started their first playoff game of the 2018 season sluggishly and were unable to fight their way back in a 12-6 loss to the Prince George Devils.
Andrew Schwab scored four goals in the first period for the reigning champs, while the offence for the young Quesnel team sputtered and was held scoreless until the second.
Lisa Scott, president of the Quesnel Lacrosse Association, says there were a lot of bad passes to start off the contest.
“The guys haven’t been throwing the ball around enough [when not playing],” she says.
“It was frustrating to watch when you know what they’re capable of.”
The Devils played a smart game, constantly frustrating the relatively inexperienced Crossfire and forcing them into bad decisions, which resulted in turnovers.
“They’ve got fantastic players and great leadership, while we’re still a young team,” says Scott.
Dusty Cathcart and Chase Ballendine led the scoring for the Quesnel players, each notching a couple goals.
Hunter McSeveney and defenceman Will Pagurut also scored for the Crossfire, who will look to rebound from the loss at home on Monday, July 9.
McSeveney says the Crossfire were not prepared for the large bench that the Devils had, and didn’t battle as hard as they normally have this season.
“We let them control the pace and flow,” he says.
“Now we have to come into game two hard and play aggressive.
“It’s do or die for us, so we have to leave everything out there.”
The Crossfire have played much better at home over the course of the season and will have a strong contingent of supporters cheering them on.
“Even in Prince George the Quesnel fans out-cheered the local fans,” Scott says.
“So we have a home fan advantage.”
The team will have to win the next two games of the three-game series in order to move on to the next round, which they have never managed to do since the team was formed.
With such a young, talented team that has played together for some time, fans believe it is only a matter of time.