Xtreme in control of playoff destiny


A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Trying to get property of non-object

Filename: articles/article.php

Line Number: 15

June 11, 2015 8:15 AM

The Lloydminster Xtreme hold the final playoff spot in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League but feel they can play with any team in the playoffs, just as long as they make the postseason. - Andrew Brethauer Photo

With six games left in the regular season, the Lloydminster Xtreme hold the final playoff spot in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s (RMLL) junior B North Conference, even if they are in last place in their division.

With three wins in their last five games, including a pair of weekend victories over the Grande Prairie Thrashers last Saturday and Sunday, Lloydminster sits with a 5-7 record and are tied in points with the Lakeland Heat who have a 5-6 record, yet have a game on the Xtreme.

But with six teams making the playoffs from the conference, Lloydminster has a comfortable lead on the Edmonton Blues, the only team who can catch them in the standings, and gave themselves some breathing room heading into the final games of the season.

“We just need to get in,” said head coach Graham Murray. “I’m not too concerned if we are the fifth spot, fourth spot, third spot, it doesn’t matter to me. We can compete with any team that is in the league right now as long as we come to play.”

Against tough competition, Lloydminster hasn’t be blown out in any game, losing in overtime to the undefeated Fort Saskatchewan Rebels on May 23 8-7, and losing twice to the Vermilion Roar, 13-10 and 12-10. With lower penalty minutes, the most penalized team in the league has managed to cut the amount of times they handicap themselves while keeping their games against the leagues best extremely close.

However, Lloydminster showed what happens when they don’t come ready to compete, as a disappointing 9-5 loss to the Edmonton Warriors at the end of May was an eyeopener for the team with only a few games remaining in the schedule.

“The defence is still a work in progress and it is getting better,” said Murray. “Since the first couple of games we have definitely limited our penalties. We are leading the league in penalties so it is nice that we are limiting it to two or three a game max.”

Lloydminster has been the only team in the RMLL that has been able to take Fort Saskatchewan the distance this season, so this weekends matchup against the Rebels will be a marker to see where they stand heading into the playoffs. The Xtreme also have the Blues and Heat the following week, two teams they are either trying to move away from or leap in the standings.

With favourable matchups against some of the leagues lower teams, Lloydminster has complete control of their destiny heading into the postseason, so for the rest of the season it is about working on a shutdown defence and keeping the penalty numbers low. Murray isn’t looking at standings and points for a favourable match in the playoffs as he feels Lloydminster can play with any team, just as long as they control the things they can control and not get pulled into another teams game.

“We can only control what we can do,” said Murray. “We just need to worry about ourselves, keep winning games and we’ll be fine.”

More News

Golden Gloves

The Lloydminster mosquito AA Twins, with back row from left, Chad Oborowsky, John Spence, Mike Hill, Shawn Hines, Jamie Walker; middle row, Ryan Oborowsky, Ethan Neufeld, Scottie Lumbard, Cole Hines,… more »

Bobcats set to hit the ice

The Bobcats will host the reigning AJHL champion Spruce Grove Saints at the Centennial Civic Centre on Sept. 15. The contest will follow a seven-game exhibition schedule stretching back to Aug. 28 as… more »

Sonics honoured by Athletics Alberta

Abby Kirsch, who will be entering Grade 9 at E.S. Laird Middle School in September, received a top 10 award for bantam females for her steady rise in the sport of long-distance running during the Alberta… more »

more »