A pair of huge tilts this week will go a long way towards determining if the Richmond Roadrunners will repeat as regular season champions in the B.C. Intermediate "A" Lacrosse League but don't tell that to head coach Greg Rennie.
The Roadrunners (10-1) will have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season tonight (8 p.m.) when the Maple Ridge Burrards (8-2) visit Minoru Arena.
Richmond then heads to Victoria on Saturday afternoon to square off with the 10-2 Shamrocks.
Coming off back-to-back years where the Roadrunners have enjoyed stellar runs in league play only to fizzle out at the provincials, Rennie is making sure he and his team are not getting too caught up in the moment.
"I would call this a good measuring stick for us more than anything else," he said. "Yes, it would be nice to have one of the top seeds where it won't take too much to get to the provincials but the bottom line is we want to be playing our best stretch of lacrosse in late July, not now."
Richmond dropped a 12-10 decision to Maple Ridge back on May 31 in a terrific battle that saw the hosts come back from a 9-8 deficit after two periods. Both teams are excellent in their own end, having surrendered the least amount of goals in the league by a considerable margin.
The Roadrunners cruised to a 13-7 win over Victoria on June 16 at Minoru Arena but expect a much tougher test in the provincial capital.
"Maple Ridge is an excellent team and that was a great game that could have gone either way," continued Rennie. "Victoria was missing a bunch of guys when they came over here so we knew it's going to be a much different team we see over there."
Another good reason not put too much emphasis on results at this time of year is these Grade 11 and 12 players are focusing on final exams and graduation activities. Team captain and transition standout Brad Hoffman has a grad function at McMath tonight and won't be available.
"There is definitely a lot of things going on for these kids at this time of year," added Rennie. "We're very happy to be where we are right now and our best lacrosse is still ahead of us."
Tyler Vogrig continued his outstanding season with five goals and two assists against Victoria. He leads the league in scoring with 64 points in 11 games, including 39 goals. Connor Davidson had two goals and three assists, while Patrick Szabo also scored twice. Spencer Bromley added a goal and four helpers. Jayden Campbell, Wyatt Kinna and Pearson Willis had the other goals.
Three days later, Richmond dumped New West Salmonbellies 12-3 thanks to outscoring the visitors 10-1 over the final two periods.
Vogrig had a hat trick. Braeden Jensen, Campbell and Bromley added two each. Davidson rounded out the scoring. Chandler Bradley had three assists.
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