July 14th, 2024

Cudas win nail-biter over Mountaineers

By Lethbridge Herald on May 9, 2022.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Cudas junior lacrosse club edged the Calgary Mountaineers 9-8 at the Nicholas Sheran Arena on Saturday afternoon to go to 3-0 on the season.

However, the Mountaineers didn’t make it easy on the Cudas as both clubs were tied at four heading into the third period and the visitors scored three quick goals in a less than a five-minute span to take a 7-4 lead.

The Cudas dug deep to eventually tie the game and set up some late-game heroics as Lethbridge’s rookie Connor Materi converted on a penalty shot to score an insurance goal and preserve the victory for the home side.

“Like having that opportunity — I’ve never done a penalty shot in my life — as a first year, the nerves were just kicking,” said Materi.

“Like I looked to the bench, they’re all hyping me up — like I look at the goal,  it’s just me and the goalie. And all can see is like, ‘OK, no pressure here, just take a deep breath and just  do what you can do at practice, right .’ It was definitely nerves, but at the end of the day I did kind of finish it off.”

Materi also scored a goal earlier in the third period.

Head coach Darren Andre said seeing him score (Materi)  was awesome.

“It was weird to see a penalty shot, I thought that was a strange call,” said Andre.

“It worked out in our favour. We were probably hoping for the powerplay to see if we can stretch the floor out and kill the clock. But yeah, (a) 16-year-old came in under pressure and got it done for us.”

Houston Eakins got the go-ahead goal with just over two minutes to make it 8-7 Cudas.

Calgary scored 10 seconds after the penalty shot, but that’s close as they would come before the final buzzer.

“Our depth really showed today,” said Andre.

“Our depth guys stepped up. They made the difference in the third, no doubt about that. You know they really zeroed in on our older guys — the guys who had lots of points from last weekend . And they saw the stats sheet and zeroed in on them and our depth guys won us that third period, no doubt.”

Andre was happy to squeak out a win.

“You know at the end of the season, that’s two points. We will take it,” he said.

“But we have lots to work on, lots of holes to fill. You know, fortunately we’re getting wins and we’ve got time. But we could have very easily been on the receiving end of that one.”

Adam Kennedy has two goals while Jaxson Geddes, Mark Federkeil, Devon Robichaud and Roman Kish supplied one goal apiece to complete the Cuds offence.

The Cudas had offensive explosion on Sunday in Okotoks against the Marauders on route to a 17-8 win and a 4-0 start to the season.

Geddes led the way with eight goals, Federkeil had five goals, Robichaud had two tallies,  Materi and Kaelen Snee had a goal each to provide Lethbridge’s offence.

The Cudas next game is Saturday versus the Calgary Shamrocks at the Nicholas Sheran Arena at 8 p.m.

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