Penticton’s bantam A and midget Heat lacrosse teams opened their season last weekend with different results.
The bantam A Heat visited North Okanagan last Saturday and earned a 5-5 draw in what coach Dan Chetner said was a feisty affair. Trailing 5-1, the Heat fought back by outshooting North Okanagan and controlling the majority of play. Chetner said both teams played sloppy early and the Heat’s poor shooting percentage resulted in the game being closer than it should have.
“Even though the team was down on the scoreboard, they continued to compete right to the end and that was what allowed us to come back,” said Chetner. “No one gave up at any time.”
Beau Chetner with three goals, and Cairo Rogers with two, led the Heat attack. Fred Harbinson, Ethan McLaughlin and Ben Olsen each pocketed one assist.
The midget squad earned a 5-1 road win over Shuswap. Jake MacLeod paced the attack with a hat trick. Ethan Marsden-Blackface scored one and Chace Moog netted a goal in his first game to round out the scoring for the Heat. Heat coach Dan Van Os said goalie Brendan Steed was outstanding as the team erased a 1-0 first-period deficit. Steed’s goaltending performance included three breakaway saves late to preserve the win. The Heat also benefited from strong defence from Gradon Freeman, Tyler Koppe, Michael MacLean and Christian Calhoun.
“The win was important as a confidence builder to begin the season and against a team that has beaten us in the playoffs the last couple of years,” said Van Os. “I liked how strong we were defensively and as the game wore on we began to pass the ball and move to open space.”
Novice wins big
The novice Heat pounded North Okanagan 12-0 with Connor Danby earning the shutout. Danby wasn’t overly busy, but denied a shooter on a breakaway in the second period. Chay Gettens and Mitchell Tamminga led the Heat’s attack with three goals and an assist each. Jacob Becker also scored three, while Liam Danby pocketed a pair of goals and an assist. Curtis Nickle rounded out the offence with a goal, while Eric Haight had one assist.
“The kids played very well with only four second-year novices and nine first-year novices,” said Heat coach Chris Danby. “They passed the ball very well and were relentless on loose balls and on the forecheck. I was very impressed with the team in their first game.”