The Quesnel Crossfire have shown bright sparks of promise all season, and tonight (July 4) they will get a chance to fulfill that promise as they play their first playoff game against the Prince George Devils.
As the local boys finished just behind the Devils in the standings, they will have to play on the road, where they haven’t had much luck recently, losing their last four away from home.
They should have a full team on the floor and a packed bench to boot, so they will have their best chance at reversing their road woes.
Coach Albert Cooper says the team needs to play a smart, disciplined game of lacrosse to succeed.
“The last game against the Bandits, we allowed five breakaway goals on our line changes,” he points out, noting the team needs to stay out of the penalty box too.
He acknowledges this year’s team has the skill and synergy to make waves in the upcoming tournament.
“There is a lot of talent with that group of guys, and most have played together since they were young, spending their minor lacrosse years with the Quesnel Wildfire.”
“With Dusty [Cathcart], Hunter [McSeveney], Landen [Scott] and Chase [Ballendine] leading the team with scoring this season, and then having Garth [Kennedy] back from injury and Brody [Lawlor] also back in town from work and back from an injury just adds to the line-up we are expecting moving into playoffs.”
On the defence side, Cooper has nothing but praise for Keaton Reichert, who is having his best season yet and often gets the call to guard the opposing team’s best player.
Will Pagurut has been a tenacious defender who can make exciting runs on turnovers, and Owen Burris has been solid in the defensive end too.
The veteran savvy of Bob Mills will be depended on to keep the guys on track, and goalie Tomas Reistad will be called upon to continue playing at the peak level he has displayed this year.
Back-up goalie Jesse Deagle has recovered from his broken shoulder and is also eager to play.
The Crossfire will be coming back home on July 9 and will complete the three game series in Prince George on July 11.