A gritty performance from Jordan Hernandez boosted the Valley Rebels to a 9-8 victory over the Royal City Capitals in their home opener on Friday at MSA Arena.
Hernandez, the captain of the local senior B lacrosse squad, was playing through a torn hamstring, but that didn’t stop him from scoring the game-winning goal in the third period.
“That’s what a captain does, I guess,” Rebels coach Jim Nishiyama marveled. “He just kept plugging along, and as the game wore on, the hamstring got worse. But he stayed in there.”
Hernandez, who finished with a goal and four assists, tracked down a loose ball and whipped a low shot home to snap an 8-8 tie. Shaun McRae also had a big game for the Abbotsford squad, notching two goals and an assist, while Cam Janzen picked up the win between the pipes.
The Rebels came up with a crucial penalty kill in the late going to preserve the win, after Dan Hiebert was whistled for high-sticking.
The victory boosted the Rebels’ record to 3-0, backing up Nishiyama’s belief that this roster has what it takes to contend for top spot in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association.
The Rebels completed a trade on the weekend, picking up all-star netminder Matt Morehouse from the Ladner Pioneers in exchange for Kevin Hill, Joel Goddard and Scott Davidson.
• The Rebels play twice this week. They meet the Pioneers on Thursday at Ladner Leisure Centre, and host the Chilliwack Mustangs on Friday at MSA Arena. Both games begin at 8 p.m.