Spring stings Raiders

DAVE CAMERON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:43 PM ET

Spring has sprung on another Edmonton vs. Calgary rivalry.

Even though it's the dog days of summer, the Edmonton Miners and Calgary Raiders went toe to toe in Oilers-Flames fashion until the Miners' Ryan Spring put a knife in the Raiders' hopes as time ran out in the 10-minute overtime. Edmonton escaped with a 9-8 win in a round-robin game that had a strong bearing on each team's fate at the Minto Cup national junior lacrosse tournament.

"During the game I went the same move every time and I was shooting high and missing the net, or hitting him in the pads," said Spring, as cheering teammates filed past. "So I decided to go high and it worked."

'KEEP IT'

"Keep the trophy!" was the Miners' mantra as they headed towards the dressing room. Revenge was on their minds as the Miners had lost the provincial title to its southern foes.

"We were geared up for this and to win it this way is even more exciting," said Miners' coach A.J. Johma.

"I'm happy for my guys. I kept the belief they had character and they finally showed the character today."

Edmonton bang-banged to a 2-0 lead at the start of the game. That was deja vu'd at the start of the third when they went up 7-5. Both times the Raiders used refuse-to-go-away voodoo, even going up 8-7 before Edmonton's Cole Howell tied it late.

"You could see us maybe fall apart when it went 8-7, but we came back and got that big goal," said Johma. "At that point I felt that we were going to win."

'RUN AND GUN'

Edmonton pressured in overtime with Chris Schmidt and Neil Tichkowsky having serious chances.

"It was just run and gun," said Spring.

Calgary, with two one-goal losses, now faces the daunting task of knocking off Ontario powerhouse Six Nations Arrow in order to stay alive for the playoff round.

"I think the biggest sign of the mettle of our team is we're going to come out strong, fighting hard, even after a really tough loss," said Raiders' coach John Millar, refusing to take a nothing-to-lose approach.

"We've got everything to lose. It's a gut-check. We didn't come up here to lose. So we're going to go win (tomorrow.)"


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