TRURO, N.S. – The Mi’kmaq Warriors have turned a corner.
For the first time in franchise history, the Warriors have won back-to-back games in the East Coast Junior Lacrosse League, edging the St. Margaret’s Bay Rebels 13-12 last Friday, after picking up an 11-10 win over the New Brunswick Mavericks on May 12.
“We attribute our success to how hard the boys are playing this year and how hungry they are,” said Warriors coach Austin Hepworth. “Our goal is to always score over 10 and we’ve done that. And the defence, they’re getting loose balls, they’re pressuring, which is causing turnovers, which gives our offence more opportunities; on both sides they’re just hungry and want it.”
The Warriors entered the ECJLL in 2015. They earned three wins during their inaugural season, but went winless in both 2016 and 2017. Last season they managed just two wins in 14 games, but are now serving notice that they’re a team to reckon with in 2019.
“It was essentially a build, and finally we’re getting to a point where we’re able to compete and the boys are starting to believe that we can compete now,” said Hepworth. “It’s not like we’re going to the locker room and saying, ‘let’s go out and have a good game’ – we’re going out there to get a W now.”
Heading into ECJLL action on Wednesday, the Warriors sat tied for third place with a 2-2-1 record. They will look to continue success this weekend when they host the Sackville Wolves on Friday (Colchester Legion Stadium, 8 p.m.). On Sunday, the Warriors hit the road to Quispamsis, N.B., to face the Mavericks for a 2 p.m. start.
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St. Margaret’s Bay 12
Warriors captain Connor Dennis continued his offensive output with an eight-point night on four goals and four assists, while Jordan Whitford netted a hat trick and three assists. Bryson Knockwood scored a natural hat trick in a span of 1:15, while Mackenzie Maloney, Kyle Langlois and Lewis Jarvie also scored for the winners.
The Warriors led the contest 8-4 after one period and 9-8 after two.