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Hunters fall short to open, Indians start hot

The Hunters are looking for some wins this weekend after going 0-3 to start the season. (Tehosterihens Deer, The Eastern Door)

The Kahnawake Jr. B Hunters began their Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League (OJBLL) season on a sour note, losing three straight games, two away on the weekend, and one at home.

Tuesday, the Hunters lost to the Nepean Knights 11-9. 

The team played its first game against arch rivals the Akwesasne Indians Saturday, and lost 21-11. The Indians dominated throughout, scoring seven goals in each period. 

The Hunters played the following day at Earl Armstrong Arena against the Gloucester Griffins, which resulted in an 18-7 loss. 

Coach Garrett Cree spoke about what lacrosse fanatics can expect for the rest of the season after the three losses.

“We are learning how to win. We haven’t won yet, but we will. We need to be more mentally tough and prepared for our games,” said Cree.

“We have a short roster due to school and injuries. Unfortunately, injuries are a significant part this year, and physical conditioning is the most important job of an athlete, so we have to use what we have,” he said. 

Although the Hunters didn’t start the season well, the team plans to shake things off and get some wins. 

“Our biggest weakness was too many penalties, especially from my part, which cost us the game,” said Hunter Tyson Two-Axe, who had 13 penalty minutes against Nepean Tuesday.

“Our penalties happen because we still don’t know how to keep our mouths shut. We complain too much because we haven’t learned how to be mentally tough, which is a learned behavior,” said Cree. 

Cree did have positive words about his team, despite the results.

“Although we lost, the game was good offensively, especially since we had good ball movement. Our defence was playing solid the whole game and did everything right,” he said. 

Two-Axe was the first to score a goal in front of the home crowd, but the goal-scoring stars of the night were Tehas Powless and Jared Downey, who sniped three goals each. 

In addition to getting over 50 minutes in penalties, the Hunters have another weakness: youth. 

“As of now, we have young legs, which are learning fast. Most of them are Midget players, but we do have some returning players who can help teach them the ropes,” said Cree. 

The boys are still in the early stages of the season, and can make a quick bounce back with some wins. The boys need to shake the rust and nerves off, and plan to keep a positive mindset going into each game, according to the coach. 

The Akwesasne Indians, on the other hand, are off to a strong start at 2-0, winning both games by over 10 points. 

Last Thursday the boys took on the Gloucester Griffins, annihilating them 14-3.

The Hunters play Gloucester tonight at the Sports Complex at 8 p.m.

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