A shot at redemption was not in the cards for the Lacoka Locos this weekend when they returned to the Kinex arena to face the Red Deer Renegades, who took the win 15-2.
The Locos seemed to have a chance in the first period, only a goal behind the Renegades but things quickly started to turn in favour of Red Deer. The Renegades took seven more goals in the second period with impressive passing and willingness to shoot when an opportunity was presented.
Red Deer Renegades assistant coach Adam Mooney said that it was a good game and that he’s glad the team could take some momentum into an important game later in the weekend.
“Well, tonight was kind of a rebound – we had a road trip last weekend that didn’t go well. We have our most important game on Sunday – a division playoff spot game – so this was a good game to play hard and not quit, even on a 15-2 game,” he said.
Dave Couchman, also an assistant coach with the Renegades, added, “You just want to go in and make sure you do the little things right. You have to make sure you don’t get lazy, don’t get sloppy and that you’re back-checking and picking up your man. You’ve got to make sure that you’re moving.”
The Locos seemed to lose momentum just before halfway through the second period. Slowly, the game grew aggressive as the Renegades began to rack up the scoreboard and the Locos racked up the penalty clock. The Renegades continually recovered the ball and charged forward through the defence of the Locos.
Agility, speed and a high shot count attributed to the several goals scored this period.
As the clock started in the third period, the Renegades were ahead 7-2 and the Locos were visibly becoming more disgruntled. Several Locos players received penalties for roughing, slashing, bench minors, and a crosscheck. However, aggressive games with plenty of contact are not new for the two teams.
“There are definitely kids that know kids. A lot of them have grown up playing against each other. It’s a five-year league, so they play the same kids time after time and they usually develop a hate for at least one or two guys on the opposing team,” said Mooney.
He went on to say that although the win felt good, the team was already moving into a new focus – a game against the Blackfalds Wranglers later this past weekend.
“We play the Wranglers on Sunday and we’re two very evenly matched teams. The kids know that if they don’t bring it, it’s not going to go their way. We’ve had intense practices all week and everybody is aware they need to bring their ‘A’ game. This is an important game of the season – it’s not going to go their way if they don’t try their best,” said Mooney.
Couchman said that the team’s preparation began and carried through last week with several intense practices. The Wranglers lead the Junior B tier II south conference division in points at 12, with the Renegades only a step behind in 11. The Locos have two points.
The Red Deer Renegades took down the Locos and repeated their practice against the Wranglers on Sunday, with a final score of 12-7.