KEEP AWAY – Lacoka Loco James Wood lines up a Stettler Thunder defender in the Locos attacking zone during a game on June 8th. The Locos won the game 10 – 1.

KEEP AWAY – Lacoka Loco James Wood lines up a Stettler Thunder defender in the Locos attacking zone during a game on June 8th. The Locos won the game 10 – 1.

Locos take the Thunder in last season game

Lacoka has made a strong finish to the season.

Lacoka has made a strong finish to the season.

On June 8th, the Lacoka Midget Locos hosted the Stettler Thunder and defeated them 10 – 1.

The win gave the Locos a record of 9 – 3 in the regular season and put them in third place in the league. Coach Mike Wood said that a core group of players who love the sport have been key to Lacoka’s success this season.

“We have a good team, a pretty strong team,” said Wood. “We have a lot of positives on our team. They love lacrosse and they play it whenever they can, so that helps.”

Patience was the name of the game last Sunday. Lacoka dictated the style and pace of play, never panicking or rushing plays and scoring opportunities.

Wood said that staying patient has served the Locos well this season.

“You know, you try to keep possession of the ball as much as possible,” said Wood. “So you try to be patience and kill the shot clock until you are ready to let it go.”

While the Locos were patient, the Thunder was frantic. As the score gap widened, Stettler’s goaltender became more frustrated and the rest of the team became more disorganized and hectic in their attempts to score.

Lacoka opened up scoring within the first minute took control of the game. What followed was the cool and collected Locos slowly but surely taking charge and establishing a significant lead.

Lacoka controlled the play and spent most of the game in their attacking zone. Whenever they lost control of the ball, they simply worked at regaining control and attacking once again, with little change to their pace.

By the end of the second period, Stettler finally had their heads in the game and began to tax Lacoka a bit more on both offense and defense. However, the Locos just took it in stride and maintained control of the game all the way through.

A strong all around team, Lacoka was able to fight off the increased offensive from Stettler towards the end of the game while still maintaining pressure in their own offensive end. As such, the Thunder was not able to close the score gap, only managing to score one goal before the final buzzer sounded.

“We knew that was going to happen, that (Stettler) was going to fight back,” said Wood. “We know their players well so we know they aren’t going to roll over and die. We knew they were going to push back.”

Seconds before the end of the game, and injury to a Thunder player stopped play. The player suffered a dislocated kneecap and was transported via ambulance to hospital for treatment.

With the regular season over, the Locos will now begin playoffs this weekend. Wood said the team expects to play their first series against the Stettler Thunder, but a proper schedule has not been finalized at this time.

Wood said that the most important thing to remember is, while the Locos need to prepare for games against the stronger teams in the league, they can’t look past their current opponents and need to take the playoffs one game at a time.

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