It seems the Yorkton Bulldogs’ key to success is playing at home.
After starting out the season 0-4 on the road, Yorkton improved their home record at the Farrell Agencies Arena to 3-1 by splitting a pair of games this past weekend.
“We are definitely happy with how we’ve played lately,” said Bulldogs head coach Joey Choptuik. “Guys are getting more comfortable and a lot of guys are stepping up when we need them to.”
The Bulldogs’ lone win on the weekend came against the Regina Riot on Saturday. They topped the Queen City Kids 11-6 with a 12-man roster, for most of the night anyways.
Choptuik was impressed by the compete level of his entire squad, but especially Jaskson Tetreault.
“All of the players (stood out in the win),” said Choptuik. “Jackson (Tetreault) stood out. He had a good game for us; he scored six points.”
The victory came at the expense of three Bulldogs, though.
“We lost three guys to injury,” said Choptuik. “We are already shorthanded, so it’s a tough loss.”
The battered and bruised Bulldogs couldn’t make it two in a row on Sunday against the Regina Rifles with only nine players. A poor finish to the second period sealed their fate in the 9-6 loss.
After Yorkton came within one four minutes into the second, making it 4-3, the Rifles took over the game. Regina scored four straight goals to make it 8-3. The Bulldogs came within three with four minutes left in the game, but couldn’t finish the comeback.
The Bulldogs’ power play failed to take advantage of their opportunities, including a five on three in the first five minutes of the game.
“Our power play is something we are trying to improve,” said the head coach. “A good power play means a lot. A couple more goals here and there would go a long way.”
Penalty problems were yet again an issue for Yorkton. They took several unnecessary penalties, including a four-minute major in the final five minutes of the game.
Choptuik knows penalties are a problem for his club, but he also noted ‘Regina took bad penalties too, so both teams had issues in the game.’
The 3-5 Bulldogs head to Estevan next Sunday for their last regular-season game against the Bigdogs.
The following weekend the playoffs start in the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League.
With only nine healthy players, including goaltender Louden Choptuik, not having enough bodies could be an issue for Yorkton in the second season.
“I don’t know if we’ll have enough players for playoffs,” noted Choptuik. “It will be a struggle.”