The Vancouver Warriors last played in Rogers Arena on February 16th. Despite yet another valiant effort on their home floor, the Warriors were defeated by the Saskatchewan Rush in a battle that was decided in the final minutes of the contest.
Exactly one month after that crushing loss, the Warriors return home having played just one game since their last home game. In that sole matchup two weeks ago, the Warriors were beaten by another West Division opponent, the San Diego Seals, bringing their overall record to 3-8. Sitting tied for last in the West hasn’t diminished this team’s hopes of making the playoffs, in great part because the rest of the West hasn’t separated themselves from the pack just yet.
Comeback star forward Jordan McBride knows that the Warriors can’t let up, even for a minute, to remain in the hunt.
“Every game is a test,” said McBride. “We need to continue doing what we’re doing and getting better. All of the games the rest of the way are very important, we just need to execute our game plan and play one shift at a time.”
The Warriors defence will need to play a tight, disciplined game as they welcome the streaking New England Black Wolves who have scored an average of 15.6 goals per game during their three-game win streak.
It’s still unclear if the Black Wolves leading point-getter and MVP-candidate, Callum Crawford, will play, as his six-game suspension is still being appealed, but Warriors head coach Chris Gill notes that whether he plays or not doesn’t impact his team’s game plan.
“We’re preparing for him to play and you don’t overthink it,” said Gill. “We know our game plan, we know we have to play within our system. If he plays, he plays. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything.”
It may not change the Warriors game plan, but there’s no doubt his presence (or lack thereof) will likely affect the game’s outcome. The same goes for the Black Wolves who will either be facing Aaron Bold or Eric Penney in net.
Last week, Bold returned to the floor after several games off, and played very well despite the loss. Now that he is back in the fold, the opposition will need to plan for two goaltenders as both have shown they can stand their ground between the pipes.
Regardless of who ends up on the floor for either team this weekend, the Warriors know they can’t afford to lose many more games, especially with a back-to-back coming up next weekend against the fifth-place West Division Colorado Mammoth.
“We’re at the point of the season where we’re fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot,” said Gill. “We can’t be lackadaisical. We can’t come in not ready to play. We’ve got to get that playoff feeling, that drive to want to win. I’m confident our group can step up to that challenge.”
Lacrosse is a game of skill, but on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the Warriors would surely accept some luck of the Irish if it means bringing home a win in front of their hometown fans. The game will be featured on B/R Live at 10:00 pm EST.