A pair of losses to start their Western Lacrosse Association season hasn’t got the coach of the Coquitlam Adanacs, Bob Bell, down.
But it has got him determined to get his young team working harder to get on the same page.
The Adanacs followed up an 11-5 setback to the Burnaby Lakers in their home opener Saturday, with a 15-8 loss to the defending WLA champion Maple Ridge Burrards on Sunday.
Bell said the results aren’t as important at this early stage of the season as allowing his charges to create chemistry as they integrate a lineup that’s turned over more than half its roster from last year’s squad that won just two games.
“There will be pain,” he said. “This weekend’s results show that we are a young team. We have a process here and we are sticking with it.”
The Adanacs’ youth and lack of WLA experience were likely a factor in their home floor loss to Lakers, Bell said.
Coquitlam had a 4-2 lead four minutes into the second period then gave up five consecutive goals to the Lakers before the Adanacs’ Vinny Ricci was able to stanch the deluge when he made it 7-5 with nine second left before the break. But that was the last time the team scored as the visitors added four more goals in the third period.
“We started to falter on the defensive end,” Bell said. “The experienced Burnaby offence took advantage.”
Against the Burrards in Maple Ridge, Coquitlam surrendered three goals on the host’s first five shots, then found themselves down 5-0 early in the second period before John Kraakman got the Adanacs on the board.
Bell said against Maple Ridge’s fully-stocked lineup of experienced defenders, such a deficit was pretty much insurmountable for his team’s offence that was already hobbled on the left side by the absence of Dean Fairall.
Not that the Adanacs’ coach is making excuses for his team.
“We looked like a young team trying to feel each other out on both sides of the floor,” Bell said. “It takes some time to learn the tendencies of your teammates.”
A week of practice, he added, will show how well some of those lessons are sinking in for their rematch against the Burrards, who will visit the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Del Bianco wins NLL championship
The Adanacs expect their top pick in February’s WLA draft, Christian Del Bianco, to join the team soon, after the young goaltender led his Calgary Roughnecks to their first National Lacrosse League championship in 10 years. Calgary beat the Buffalo Bandits, 14-13 in overtime, to win their best of three final series in two straight games.
Del Bianco made several saves early in the extra frame that set the stage for Rhys Duch to score the winning goal 1:12 into overtime.
“He’s our backbone,” said series’ most valuable player Dane Dobbie of his shotstopping teammate.