The last time the Valley Rebels played the Royal City Capitals, it served as a wake-up call to a slumbering squad.
That game – a 20-12 blowout loss on the road on June 9 – left the local senior B men’s lacrosse squad with a 3-5 record, far below expectation for a team which made it all the way to the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association (WCSLA) final last season.
Since then, the Rebels have fashioned an impressive three-game winning streak. They upset the previously undefeated Ladner Pioneers 11-10 on June 14, and followed with a 10-5 triumph over the defending league champion Tri-City Bandits two nights later.
The latest win came Friday, by a score of 12-9 over the same Capitals squad that had manhandled them just two weeks prior.
“We were as low as you could get,” head coach Jim Nishiyama said, reflecting on the earlier loss to the Capitals. “We’d never been beaten that bad . . . and nothing was working. Our goaltending wasn’t sharp, or our offence or defence.
“Honestly, I don’t know what it was. Everybody expected us to be one or two (in the league), but things just didn’t get off the way we wanted it to. We had some commitment issues. But now, we seem to be getting guys out, and they’re working hard.”
Jordan Hernandez (three goals, two assists), Kevin Lemond (two goals) and Sean Kelly (six assists) paced the Rebels’ attack vs. Royal City, while rookie goalie Keenan Lambright was stellar between the pipes.
The win boosted the Rebels’ record past the .500 mark again at 6-5, and they sit fourth in the WCSLA standings.
The local squad is on the road this Friday to play the North Shore Indians (8 p.m., West Vancouver Arena), and their next home game is the following Friday, also vs. North Shore (July 5, 8 p.m., MSA Arena).