For the first time in 40 years, Saskatchewan has some skin in the game at the President’s Cup.
The Saskatoon Brewers played their first game in the national Senior B lacrosse championship in Leduc, Alta. Monday night.
Sask.’s top senior lacrosse team fell 24-2 to the St. Albert Miners, champions of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. Brewer’s top scorer Brandon Murphy earned player of the game with one goal and one assist, while Brendan Turberfield scored the second.
The Brewers knew going into the tournament competition would be fierce. As it stands, Saskatoon is the only team vying for the President’s Cup to not feature a professional player on its roster.
The @StoonBrewers took a big first step tonight. It’s the first time in 40 years that Saskatchewan been represented at a President’s Cup.
— President’s Cup 2016 (@PresCupLax16) August 30, 2016
“We’re heading in expecting stiff competition,” said Brewers captain Shawn Volk ahead of the tournament Sunday.
“These are the best senior lacrosse players from around the country.”
Despite the lack of professional talent, the Brewers feel they can be competitive against the best teams in Canada.
Some players come in with strong amateur experience in both box and field lacrosse. Murphy—who tallied 26 goals and 50 points this season—played for Grand Canyon University in the NCAA.
“We’re really excited to see how we stack up against them,” said defender Steve Regush. “We have guys who have played together for ten years and maybe could have played at that level.”
It’s been dramatic trip to this point. The Brewers beat Moose Jaw to win the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League championship, Saskatchewan’s senior lacrosse competition. Saskatoon won a 10-minute deciding period after the two teams split a home-and-home series.
With that behind them, the Brewers are hoping to fly under the radar at the President’s Cup.
“Nobody expects us and if nobody expects you that’s when you can do well,” Regush said.
Saskatoon plays again Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. CST against the Brooklin Merchants, champions of the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
—With files from Ryan Brandt.