MEDICINE HAT, AB – The Medicine Hat Midget ‘B’ Sun Devils were two seconds away from a third overtime, two seconds away from another intermission to collect their thoughts.
But with one flick of the wrist, Josh Drefs sent the Moose Recreation Centre into hysterics to kick off the final day of games at the 2019 Lax to the Max tournament.
The Midget Sun Devils were able to outlast the Swift Current Rampage 4-3 for gold on Sunday, needing two extra periods of action to do so.
Moments after scoring the tournament winning goal, Drefs said it was a war of attrition leading to the overtime winner.
“It was just so intense and the adrenaline was pumping throughout the entire game,” said Drefs. “Just had to keep on going because we knew we had it.”
Drefs’ goal kicked off a monumental day for the Medicine Hat lacrosse program, with all four gold medal finals of the tournament featuring at least one local club.
The bantam final featured two Medicine Hat Sun Devils teams battling for gold, which was eventually captured by the Bantam 2 Sun Devils with a 9-2 victory.
Daylen Van Dorp led the charge with four goals in the championship win, while Jayden Richards, Houston Eakins, and Stas Khazov also scored.
The Novice 2 Sun Devils were also victorious on Sunday, winning gold thanks to four goals each from Torren Zentner and Ilusha Khazov in an 11-6 win against the Red Deer Chiefs.
Medicine Hat’s Peewee Sun Devils also found their way to the Lax to the Max podium, wrapping up the weekend with a silver medal performance in a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Lethbridge Cudas.
Winning five medals over four divisions, Drefs said it was an outstanding weekend showcasing Medicine Hat’s lacrosse community.
“We definitely have a good program,” he said. “It just goes to show how good the coaching and the program is for us.”
He added it’s a good sign from the local association’s young players, who will be taking his spot on the Midget Sun Devils team in the coming years.
“It’s definitely good because we know we have a good future here in Medicine Hat and a good program,” he said. “You have to keep on going.”
It’s estimated over 600 athletes and 34 teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan hit the floor for this year’s Lax to the Max event.
Junior ‘B’ Sun Devils continue to roll
No stopping the Medicine Hat Junior ‘B’ Sun Devils either, sweeping their weekend series at home with a pair of big wins over Strathmore and Calgary.
Entering the weekend with four consecutive wins under their belt, the Sun Devils dominated the Venom offensively in the opener with a 22-15 win.
Noah Weimer continued his torrid pace with six goals and an assist in the win, while Izaak Loran and captain Aidan McLean each had nine points in the win for Medicine Hat.
It was a much tighter battle in the second game of the weekend on Sunday, as the Sun Devils held off a Wranglers comeback attempt to earn a 9-8 victory.
Goals came at a premium against Calgary, but Weimer continued to lead the pack with a hat-trick to lead his team in scoring.
Tegan Rogal meanwhile scored the goal that eventually held up as the game-winner, finishing his afternoon with a four points alongside Daniel Drefs.
Undefeated in their last six games stretching back to late May, the Sun Devils sit in second place in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s South Central Division with an 8-4 record.
Two games remain for Medicine Hat before the playoffs, heading to Strathmore and High River next weekend to close out the regular season.
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