After missing the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoffs last season, the Kelowna Raiders felt they had something to prove in 2013.
Three games into the new season, no one is doubting that the Raiders mean business.
Kelowna pushed its regular season record to 3-0 Thursday night at Memorial Arena with a 21-6 dismantling of the defending champion Kamloops Venom.
Veterans Brendan Urban (3g, 4a) and Scott Renner (1g, 6g) tallied seven points each as the Raiders broke open a close game in the second period, scoring nine times, then adding nine more in the third period.
Head coach Travis Wray said his squad took to the floor fired up and motivated to play their home opener.
“We came out with good hunger and desire from the start and Kamloops came out flatfooted,” said Wray. “Our guys had this look in their eyes, they have a job to do after what happened last year.”
“Kamloops didn’t have an answer for our fast break,” Wray added, “this is the fastest team I’ve ever coached and the (Venom) didn’t have an answer for it.”
While Urban and Renner led the way, the Raiders had contributions from up and down the lineup. Rylan Davidson scored four times and added an assist, Andrew McMillan had a hat-trick and five points, while Brock Embury, Evan Helgesen, Justin Algar, Quinn Johnson-Plant each scored twice as Kelowna outshot Kamloops 63-37.
“We have so much depth that even if teams shut down our top guys, we having scoring coming from a lot of other places,” said Wray.
The Raiders return to action Thursday when they host the Vernon Tigers, 7:30 p.m. at Memorial. With about 20 returnees, Wray expects the Tigers to be one of the teams to beat this season in TOJLL.
After two losses to start 2013, the Kelowna Raiders have notched their first win of the Thompson Okanagan senior men’s lacrosse season.
On Friday in Armstrong, the Raiders downed the Shamrocks 9-7 at the Nor-Val Centre to raise their record to 1-2.
Kelowna has this week off, before returning to action Wednesday, May 8 with another visit to the Nor-Val Centre against the Rocks.