Two big wins over the weekend is taking the Sylvan Lake Yettis to their first provincial playoff.
The Yettis faced the Medicine Hat Sun Devils on home court over the weekend for a best-of-three playoff series.
Though the Yettis played the Sun Devils at the beginning of the regular season, and won handily, the play-off season saw both teams working harder for each and every goal.
Yettis Assistant Coach Justin Moltzahn said the team from Medicine Hat surprised them.
“They were a stronger team than they were at the beginning of the season,” said Moltzahn.
In the first game of the series on July 6, the Yettis won 14-10. In the second game the day following, July 7, the Yettis won once again with a score of 21-11.
When it comes to playoff games, Moltzahn says the team cannot rely on the triumphs of the regular season.
During play off series, each team wants to win that much more and will work that much harder, he says.
“It is a whole different animal, a different experience,” he said.
Throughout the regular season the Yettis won most games with huge scores, while keeping their opponents in the single digits.
During the playoff series, Moltzahn said he had to give credit to the Sun Devils because they never gave up.
No matter how hard the Yettis pushed, or goals they scored, the Sun Devils pushed back.
“I have to give it to them, they never gave up… the came back every time. In the regular season many teams just sort of gave up when we got ahead, but not this time.”
In both games the Yettis played their strongest periods in the final frame. When it came to both defence and offence, the Yettis upped the anti to give themselves a win.
Moltzahn says the Yettis will have to continue with that strength moving forward into playoffs.
“Our strongest asset is our defence… Our defence is just so good,” he said, adding the team’s prowess on offence has “grown exponentially.”
The team has four practices before leaving for the provincial tournament.
The team will take the time to recuperate a bit, and come down off the high of winning while evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, according to Moltzahn.
He says they aren’t sure what they are up against in the tournament, as they have not had a chance to play against, or watch, any of the teams from the north.
“You can learn a lot from a series, but you can’t learn everything… I am confident in what we have,” said Moltzahn.
The Sylvan Lake Yettis will play in the provincial tournament July 19-21 in Sherwood Park.
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