Red Deer Rampage goalie Cole Reschney made 32 saves and was game MVP in a 13-5 win over the Rockyview Silvertips at the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Championship at Kinex Arena on Friday morning. The tournament continues all weekend with the finals set for 1 p.m. Sunday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Rampage win opener at RMLL Championships

Play the Calgary Shamrocks next at 6 p.m.

The Red Deer Rampage are focused on a new beginning at the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Championships and still, uncle mo is clearly on their side.

They won 12 games in a row heading into the Larry Bishop Memorial Cup opener Friday on home court at the Kinex and that momentum spilled onto the floor against the Rockyview Silvertips.

Red Deer came out flying, scoring six times in the opening frame and rolled to a 13-5 win.

“Energy was probably the biggest thing. We’re known for our transition game, the second period was huge for us and putting the ball in the back of the net early really helped us carry forward that energy,” said Rampage co-captain Ben Arifin.

While the offensive outburst was expected, it was the performance of goalie Colle Reschney that drew the praise of teammates. Keeping the opponent under eight goals is a big deal in the lacrosse world and Reschney finished the game with 32 saves. He was also named game MVP.

“Just don’t let them shoot outside, our goalies played unreal today. That really helped,” said co-captain Jeremy Klessens, who had five assists in the win.

“If you can hold them under eight, that’s a big goal. Offence should be scoring 10 plus a game. (Cole) played unreal.”

Also key for the Rampage, both in the opener and all weekend long, will be their transition game. It’s been a staple for the group all season long and will be an integral part of their identity this weekend.

“We’re a running team. We’re very a fast-paced team and our defence carries the offence. Our offence feeds off our energy. Defence plays good, everybody is rolling,” added Klessens.

Elijah Johanson notched a hat trick in the victory, while Tyler Clarkson and Traford Couchman each buried a pair. Riley Woytas, Teren Christenen, Sheridan Cook, Arifin, Bergen Cunningham and James Wood also all scored in the victory.

Arifin has been at several provincial championships with the Rampage and said he simply stressed to his teammates how much teams will elevate their play at this level.

“Just consistency. We have to play a strong mental game. We can’t get too high or too low. We just have to stay level and keep our heads in it,” he said.

“Having home-court advantage is huge, we have our own fans here and younger guys supporting us. We’re out here to set an example.”

In Red Deer’s second game of the day, they fell 16-7 to the Calgary Shamrocks.

Wood, Cook and Kleesens all scored a pair of goals in the loss. Kiefer Christensen also scored for Red Deer.

Tournament games are being live-streamed at www.albertalacrossetv.com. Games continue throughout the day Friday and Saturday, with the gold medal game set for Sunday 1 p.m. All games are at the Kinex.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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