The Tri-City Bandits made short work of Abbotsford’s Valley Rebels in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association final, winning in a three-game sweep.
On paper, it looked like the series would be a close one – the first-place Bandits finished just one point ahead of the Rebels in the senior B regular season.
But Tri-City edged Valley 10-8 in the best-of-five opener last Thursday, then followed that up with a dominant performance in the extra session in an 8-4 overtime win on Saturday. They wrapped things up decisively, winning 14-5 on Sunday to claim the league’s lone berth to the President’s Cup national championship tourney.
Rebels coach Ted Downey said that the Game 2 overtime, where his team was out-scored 4-0, was the turning point.
“The air went out of the balloon, more or less,” he said. “We also had some injuries coming out of Game 2, and it put a lot of pressure on us.
“It takes a lot to make your edge, but it doesn’t take too much to lose it. That’s pretty well what happened to us.”
While falling short in the final was disappointing, the Rebels had never been so deep in the playoffs in their history. They also posted a league-record 12-game winning streak during the regular season.
“We had a great run,” Downey said. “Guys hung in there and really played well.”