Bears maul Warriors in junior lacrosse opener

Conditioning and special teams are two areas of focus for the Peninsula Warriors Junior B lacrosse team

The Peninsula Warriors started their season last week.

Conditioning and special teams are two areas of focus for the Peninsula Warriors Junior B lacrosse team after dropping their home opener May 2, 10-6 to the Westshore Bears.

Coach Jeff Summerfield says he liked a lot of what he saw from his team in their first game of the season, but added they have work to do to reach a peak come playoffs in July.

This season of the Pacific Northwest Junior Lacrosse League promises to be an intense one, as Cowichan’s team folded before the start of the season. Summerfield said they were to play their first game of the year on the road, but it was cancelled due to the loss of Cowichan.

“What this means is a change in the schedule, more games against the other team and more intense rivalries,” he said.

The Warriors started their opening match well, holding the lead after the first period. A rash of penalties and three ejections in the second period, however, let the visitors jump out to a 7-5 lead and a 10-6 victory. Westshore used Peninsula’s short bench to their advantage, grinding down already tired players. Summerfield said with the ejections and two injuries, the loss of five of their 18-man roster made for a very tired team.

“I’m happy with their effort, they stayed in the game.”

The Warriors are a mix of veteran and new players this season. Summerfield said that mix brings its own challenges. More importantly, the Warriors have to improve on special teams, he said. Peninsula had plenty of power play opportunities late in the second period, but could not capitalize.

“Our goal is to get better and better all year. We want to hit our peak at the end of the year and get into the playoffs.”

He added he wasn’t aware of the playoff format in the wake of a smaller league.

The Warriors are in Nanaimo tonight (May 8) and visit Saanich on Friday, May 10. They are at home again Wednesday, May 15 hosting the same Westshore Bears. Game time is 7 p.m.