The shoe was on the other foot this time around for James Rahe.
Last summer, the lacrosse star was traded from his hometown Langley Junior Thunder to the Coquitlam Adanacs. Unfortunately, the Adanacs fell in the Minto Cup — Canada’s junior A national championship — finals to the Six Nations Arrows.
At this summer’s trade deadline, with Langley relegated to miss the post-season, the Arrows inquired about Rahe’s availability.
Rahe — a six-foot-four, 235-pound forward and the team captain — was having another stellar season as he finished sixth in league scoring (34 goals and 72 points in 16 games) despite missing the final five games. He was also a BCJALL second team all-star.
Rahe agreed to the trade and it paid off as on Saturday night, the Arrows defeated Coquitlam 9-4 in game six to win the Minto Cup best-of-seven championship series four games to two.
The series was played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Ont.
Rahe had two assists in game six and finished the series with four goals and 11 points.
And more importantly, the 21-year-old from Aldergrove capped off his junior career with a Minto Cup title.
“This was an amazing opportunity I got,” Rahe said.
He spoke to from Robert Morris University, which is in Pittsburgh, on Monday afternoon.
Rahe, a mechanical engineering student, is in his senior season and a member of the Colonials’ field lacrosse team.
“I definitely thought after losing (the Minto Cup finals) last year that would be my last chance to go for it.”
“Obviously I was pretty happy to get another opportunity.”
Rahe joined the Arrows for the playoffs and the team went 12-1 in capturing the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League title. He had 11 goals and a team-high 31 assists for 42 points in those 13 games.
In the Minto Cup finals, Six Nations lost game one 9-7 and needed overtime to win game two 9-8.
“I think after we had to battle back and win game two in overtime, that just showed our team’s true character, that we would be willing to battle and do whatever it takes to win,” he explained.
“That was the turning point.”
The teams split games three and four with the Arrows winning 8-5 and Coquitlam evening the series at two games apiece with a 5-4 game four victory. But in the critical fifth game, Six Nations delivered a stellar defensive effort to prevail 8-2 with Rahe notching a goal and two helpers. The right-handed forward scored in four of the six games and had a point in all six contests.
“We had a good chemistry with all the new guys that came onto the team. We clicked well and gelled and as the playoffs went on we got stronger and stronger,” he said.
Capping his junior career with a Cup championship was a great feeling, but also bittersweet.
“Obviously it would have been cool to make a playoff run with Langley but unfortunately we are still in the building process,” Rahe said.
“The management has been great and some of my best friends are on that team.”
Rahe was happy that his mom, brothers and grandparents were able to make it back east to watch him win the Cup and to help him celebrate.
“That was my biggest worry when I got asked if I wanted to go out to Six Nations, was being so far away from family and friends,” he said. “Them being able to come out and support me was huge.”
Following the Minto Cup victory, Rahe also kept a promise he made to his teammates, who shaved his beard following game six. They left him with just a moustache.
“I let some of the guys know that if we won it, they had free reign to do whatever they wanted to it,” he said.
Rahe had shaved his beard when he returned home from university and began growing it prior to this summer’s playoffs.