Lacoka has carried its success in the regular league into the post-season.
After a superb game of hockey and their first of the playoffs on March 2, the Lacoka Midget Female Rockets defeated the Tofield Midget Female Titans 5-1 to lead the best of three playoff series 1-0.
Coach Randy Burt was happy with how his team played and said it bodes well to have such a strong start to league playoffs.
“It should be an interesting playdown,” said Burt. He added that, while Lacoka finished third in the league, they beat the first and second-placed teams for a spot at provincials and he is confident the Rockets can beat any team to claim the league championship this season.
Lacoka was in control of the game right from the start. Never playing hard or slow, the Rockets set the bar just above where Tofield could reach it and then continued with a calm, even pace for the entirety of the match.
While it took a while for them to start scoring goals, the Rockets were patient and it paid off as they scored twice in the last five minutes of the first to end the period with a 2-0 lead.
Lacoka kept the same even pace in the second period, not being overly aggressive and letting their lead offer them protection as they killed the clock. However, the Rockets were still aggressive enough to score again and keep play out of their end for most of the period. Tofield did manage one goal midway through the second, but Lacoka took it in stride and answered with another of their own to end the period 4-1.
In the third, Lacoka continued to control play while the Titans frantically tried to get the puck in the net before time ran out. Cool and collected, the Rockets once again kept the puck out of Tofield’s reach for the majority of the period and managed to score one more goal to end the game 5-1.
Lacoka’s strategy for the game was to keep the feet moving, pass to the forwards, and keep control of the puck, said Burt. It was clear the strategy was a successful one.
Burt added said the Rockets’ calm and composed style of play is something the team has worked on all season at his behest. He said that it has led them to a very successful season.
“It’s great that way,” said Burt. “Pretty consistent, not a whole lot of up and down.”
There is a wide range of skill levels present in the league this year, said Burt. As such, he has spent the season encouraging his players to be consistent and play their high-level of hockey every game, no matter what level their opponents are at.
“You can’t afford to be playing to other teams’ levels. It’s just a matter of going out, playing our game and not worrying about how the opposition plays.”
Because of this philosophy, Lacoka finished third in the league and have made a strong start in the post-season. The Rockets have also secured a place at this year’s provincial tournament.
Lacoka will now play game two of the best of three series against Tofield away on March 8. Game three, if necessary, will be played on the Rockets home ice in Lacombe on March 9 at 1 p.m.