Considering that they’re first-year teams, the Stettler Thunder had a great showing at this year’s Central Alberta Lacrosse League playoffs this past weekend in Red Deer.
The Stettler midgets lost both of their games — to Kneehill and Red Deer — but managed to score a few goals to finish off the year. Jordan Smyth scored two unassisted goals and Kyle Froese snagged a pass from Simon Muncy to score Stettler’s other goal.
The bantam Thunder played Olds in their first playoff game on Friday night, losing the game but getting two goals from Casey Wright and one from Ryan Mielke.
Stettler doubled that score in their next game versus Blackfalds. The Thunder suffered a decisive loss, but showed their newly developed passing skills.
Braden Docherty scored two goals and two assists for Stettler, which also got goals from Mielke, Wright, Adam Nixon and Austin Rosland.
The peewee Thunder had a very successful inaugural season, finishing the regular season play in eighth position out of 12 teams. Their success continued on the weekend, with a 2-2 playoff record.
Stettler defeated the Badlands Raptors 10-7.
Derek Smyth scored four goals, Kameron Bainbridge added a pair and singles went to Talon Connor, Daran Tulan, Isaac Lee and Noah Smyth.
In their second game, the peewee Thunder lost 15-6 to the Lacoka Locos, the top team in the league. Stettler still had a great showing. Noah and Derek Smyth each had two goals, while Tulan and Carter VanEsch added one each.
In their next game, the Thunder went up against the Olds Stingers for an intense game of back-and-forth action that ended with an 8-6 Stettler win.
Connor tallied five times for the Thunder. Noah Smyth, Delaney Anderson and Eric Williams also scored for Stettler.
In their final game, the Thunder lost 10-3 to the Sylvan Lake 1 Buccaneers in a hard-fought battle. Stettler’s goals came from Conner, Tulan and Nolan Smyth.
Stettler’s novice team finished regular-season play in 10th position out of 14 teams.
After losing their playoff opener against the Red Deer No. 4 Chiefs, the Thunder battled the Didsbury Chargers. Those teams were tied 5-5 after the third period, which meant an extra period of sudden-death overtime would have to be played. Sadly, the game was lost, but the fans were so excited for all the hard work from these novice players, who came off the floor sweaty and tired but grinning.
Stettler’s goals in that game came from Marcus Laisnez, with two, Brier Devnich, Eric Taylor and Zac Bryson.
Our two tyke and two mini-tyke teams also saw action in Lacombe for the tyke and mini-tyke end-of-season festival. Each of the players came away with dog tags, and Connor Blake managed to win the loonie stick.
Scores aren’t kept for those two age groups, but we were told that plenty of Thunder lacrosse balls hit the opposition nets.
The minor lacrosse season continues through the middle of July, with the provincial championships for box lacrosse being held in Lacombe this year on July 13, 14 and 15.
By Kim Smyth, President, Stettler Minor Lacrosse Association