With just weeks until the start of the playoffs, the Red Deer Rampage are hoping they’ve found their groove.
If Saturday’s 18-8 win at home over the St. Albert Crude is any indication, they may be peaking at the right moment.
At least that’s what head coach Troy Tisdale and the Rampage are hoping.
“We needed a big one,” Tisdale said following the game. “We’ve been talking about it as a team we needed a game where we were a little bit more relaxed and one where we had it more in hand.
“We’ve had so many close games and they take a lot of the boys. They play hard.”
The Rampage sits in second place in the Central Division of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Jr. B Tier I with just three games remaining.
The top three teams from each of the four divisions will make the playoffs. The top teams in those divisions will receive a bye to the second round.
The Rampage have not clinched their spot in the postseason yet but if they can win the last few games they’ll punch their ticket into the first round.
Tisdale explained in the last month they’ve struggled with scoring goals. In practice they’ve been working hard on fixing that and on Saturday it showed.
“It made a big difference for us,” he said. “Our defence always stands up pretty strong so we just needed our offence to start putting the ball in the net a little bit more.”
In early June the Rampage suffered a five-game losing streak but since then have gone 4-2 in their last six. Tisdale said previously they weren’t scoring nearly enough to win games but other than a blowout loss last weekend their defence and goaltending have been sharp.
“It was really nice to see them score today and create some confidence. I think that’s all it really is for us,” he added. “I really think that’ll sling-shot us into some good games coming up.”
Red Deer is led on offence by Ryley Dowswell who’s fifth in the division with 52 points. Isaac Tisdale and Tanner Park aren’t too far behind with 49 and 37 points.
“We look to those three guys to put the ball in the net or to make plays. They’re all doing a pretty good job of that… They’re our leaders,” he said.
Goaltending has been a strong suit for them splitting starts between netminders Carson Wells and Colton Ferguson. Wells has played five more games than Ferguson but both have shown they’re reliable between the pipes.
“We can go to either one at any time and know we’re going to get good goaltending,” he added.
“It’s not often teams get into double digits on our goalies and that’s a tribute to our defence as well. They make key saves at the right time they’ve just been good.”