With less than 10 seconds left in the game, a Sherwood Park Titans shot dinged off the post and a sigh of relief rushed over the Kinex Arena.
The Red Deer Rampage escaped Friday night with a 9-8 win at home in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League best-of-three North Division final.
With a lead of 4-1 after the first period and 7-4 after two, the Rampage looked in control until penalties derailed their momentum midway through the third period. Coach Trey Christensen credited his group with battling through adversity to clinch the win.
“Up and down, that’s lacrosse, right?” Christensen said of his team’s play.
“It’s just momentum going back and forth. In the third period we definitely let it go out a little further than we would have liked. The guys kept with it, it was a good, gutsy win.”
The head coach added that the big difference between the first and third period was his team just being able to shake off the penalty calls.
“Just maturity. A couple calls don’t go our way in the third and it just really takes the momentum away,” he said.
“It’s just pushing reset all the time. Whether you get the goals or you get the goals against, you just have to reset and get back to ground zero.”
Dawson Reykdal scored twice in the first, while Tristyn Zarubiak and Elijah Johanson each added a goal in the opening frame.
In the second, Jordon Waddell added two goals and Dustin Bell chipped in one.
Connor Shantz and Bell both notched goals in the third.
Christensen said in order to close out the series in Sherwood Park on Saturday night, his team will simply have to do what they’ve done all season long.
“Just play a full 60 minutes. This is a good lacrosse team we’re facing here,” he said. “I think it’s a good matchup and everyone has to be buying in and doing what they need to do.”