The Red Deer KFC Riot were too quiet.
Or maybe they were too passive.
Whatever, the Riot didn’t play to expectations in the provincial junior women’s lacrosse championship and as a result failed to qualify for a medal game.
“The girls did quite well, but there was that lack of running after loose balls and watching the other team pick it up and kill the clock on us,” said Red Deer coach Harold Albrecht, following his team’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Calgary Cardinals Saturday night at the Kinex.
With the victory, the Cardinals claimed fourth place in the five-team tournament with a 1-3 record and will meet the 2-2 Calgary Sabrecats in today’s 11:30 a.m. bronze-medal game. The Riot, also 1-3, finished fifth.
The Sherwood Park Titans, who were 4-0 in round-robin play, will take on the 2-2 Edmonton Warriors in the gold-medal match at 1:30 p.m.
The Riot and Cardinals were deadlocked 3-3 after two periods, but Calgary’s Tabatha Aldcroft broke the tie at 7:51 of the third frame on the front end of a two-player advantage.
The host team, however, pulled even on a goal from Paige Gillespie-Sweetnam at 16:53, forcing the 10-minute extra session.
The Red Deer team carried the play through most of the overtime frame, but Cardinals netminder Brianna Hepburn was outstanding and as a result a goal by teammate Karlie Puchala 3:49 into the period stood up as the winner.
“She (Hepburn) saved their bacon, holy smoke,” said Albrecht. “We definitely outshot them, but again, we have to pick our spots to shoot. The girls are not feeling very good right now but all in all they gave a pretty good, honest effort. Both teams played well, it was a great, exciting game. But they outhustled us and that was the big difference.”
Alexis Monk, Courtney Mastel and Paige Farries also scored for the Riot, who finished third in regular-season play in the Rocky Mountain League.
In all fairness, the Red Deer team was short-handed with a roster of only 13 players, as compared to 18 for the other four teams in the provincial tournament.
“We had a bunch of injuries and stuff that really took their toll,” said Albrecht. “Girls who normally run a lot faster could not. I had four of them playing with injuries.
“We have a lot of good talent, but we don’t have a lot of players. If we had a few more bodies I think it would have helped us a lot this weekend because the girls were really tired. But they tried their best and just about came back in overtime. We had plenty of opportunities, but shooting wide wasn’t helping us too much.”
Red Deer fell 7-5 to Sherwood Park in a morning game, getting two goals from Gillespie-Sweetnam and singles from Farries, Janessa Sullivan and Leah Boucher.
In Saturday’s other games, the Warriors doubled the Sabrecats 4-2, the Titans toppled the Warriors 7-5 and the Sabrecats were 3-2 double-overtime winners over the Cardinals, who lost 7-3 to the Titans in Friday’s late game.