The Tri-Cities is on the eve of a new lacrosse season, and regional teams are looking to turn both their lucks around from last year - just on opposite sides of the spectrum.
The Coquitlam Adanacs' and Port Coquitlam Saints' 2023 schedules were recently released for the BC Junior 'A' Lacrosse League (BCJALL). Both are set to start with back-to-back home games early next month.
Coquitlam is looking to salvage a second-round playoff exit from the 2022 campaign, following a 9-5 regular-season record.
The purple and gold lost to the Victoria Shamrocks 3-2 in the best-of-five semifinal series following a 2-1 best-of-three play-in series triumph over Burnaby.
With 20 players set to return to the A's roster, they could be the early season favourites.
BCJALL writer Muhammad Jomha said that may have an advantage with its home schedule with its business-like approach.
"Also, unlike the other teams in the mix a season ago, Coquitlam was quiet at the deadline and maintained their future assets which should set them up nicely for this year," said Jomha in his season preview.
"The Adanacs will go into the year looking to improve on an offense that averaged nine goals/game. Something that likely improves with many guys coming back off last year’s experience."
Coquitlam is set to play 11 home matches at the Palace on Poirier (633 Poirier St.) out of its 21-game BCJALL schedule.
By season's end, Jomha believes, for the Adanacs especially, failing to reach the Minto Cup national championships will be "a major disappointment."
"The A's should be the most balanced team in the B.C. circuit and have a great chance to make a return to the Minto Cup after a one-year hiatus."
Coquitlam's first game is set for May 5, 7 p.m. against the Delta Islanders.
Meanwhile, the PoCo Saints will be hunting for wins after staff shortages and a younger line-up resulted in a 1-13 record in 2022.
However, much like their Coquitlam rivals, 20 players will be back in black, as well as new bench bosses in Travis Cornwall and Jeff Cornwall.
Jomha said the Cornwalls could bring valuable winning-culture experience to, what should be, a youthfully-enthusiastic junior 'A' Saints squad.
"With a few other teams around the league entering sizable rebuilding phases, if PoCo can bring a long their young players, especially offensively; the door may be open for the Saints to slide into that fourth and final playoff spot."
Veteran goaltender Ryder Bremner is tapped for a fifth year between the pipes for the Saints.
As well, Port Coquitlam has brought back defender Caelan Mander, who was picked up by the Edmonton Miners at the 2022 deadline in adding depth to its back-line for the Minto Cup.
The Saints open up its 2023 regular season on May 3, 8 p.m. against the Burnaby Lakers at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.