Vancouver, B.C. – It had been 657 days since the last time the Vancouver Warriors touched the turf at Rogers Arena, and boy-oh-boy what a lacrosse game 6083 fans in attendance were treated to.
Unfortunately, the outcome was not in favour of the hometown Vancouver Warriors.
The Warriors, donning their slick black and gold threads, came out gangbusters jumping out to an early 4-1 lead in the opening frame. The crowd was buzzing, the team appeared to be rolling, and the opposition was on their heels.
Though their record showed 0-2 coming into this one, the Saskatchewan Rush is a team full of wily veterans and future Hall of Famers that can change a game or break it wide open in the blink of an eye – those players came through when the team needed them most in the form of a 6-0 2nd Quarter, propelling the visitors to a 7-4 lead at the half.
The third frame started out slow, but the Warriors were able to score two quick ones to narrow the Rush lead to one. Saskatchewan was able to rally off a two goal run of their own to extend the lead to three again.
While teams of the past would have rolled over at that point, this year’s rendition of the Warriors showed battle. The fourth quarter was all Vancouver – a couple goals, more than a few crossbars, and even a shot that the referees had to make sure did not cross the line. The comeback felt all but inevitable. Ultimately though, time was not on the Warriors’ side as they came up just one goal shy with the final scoreboard showing 10 for the visitors and 9 for the home side.
This loss felt different than years past, though – this loss can be filed under “moral victory”. The culture for Vancouver Warrior lacrosse is shifting to the better, and if this start with two wins and a VERY close loss to a VERY good Saskatchewan team does not indicate that, I do not know what could.
Keegan Bal and Mitch Jones led the way offensively with four and three goals respectively, while Marty Dinsdale chipped in two of his own. Goaltender Alex Buque held his team in it with 35 saves, a good chunk of those being timely stops in the final frame when his team needed them most.
The Warriors will return from the holiday break on Friday, January 7th at 7:30pm, a home game versus the Colorado Mammoth. Single game tickets, flex packs, group tickets and VIP suites for the Warriors home games are officially on sale at tickets.vancouverwarriors.com/.