WK
1
Sat, May 6
FINAL
Panther City
9
Calgary
12
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Panther City Lacrosse Club Drops Finale to Calgary

The Panther Lacrosse Club (10-8) dropped a close battle against the Calgary Roughnecks (13-5), 13-12, on Friday night at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

Rookie sensation Jonathan Donville led the way for the club with six points (2G/4A) and now has 90-points in his first season in the NLL. He is the second-player in Panther City Lacrosse Club history to register a 90-point season. Veteran Callum Crawford chipped in with five points (2G/3A). Will Malcom finished with four points (1G/3A) to finish his 2022-23 season with 96 points, a franchise record. His 35th goal, which he scored tonight also set a franchise record for most goals in a single season.

Defensively, captain Matt Hossack led the way for the club forcing three caused turnovers and also had five loose balls. Tyler Burtonled the way for PCLC with eight loose balls.

 

POST GAME QUOTES

HEAD COACH TRACEY KELUSKY

On what he thinks kept this game more competitive than the last Calgary game…

We were able to manufacture more on 5-on-5, and that was a big part of it. In my opinion, we should have been up by a lot more half, but nonetheless our guys showed up. We knew that, again, we went to Calgary and took a beating, so you know credit to those guys for showing up and playing and again playing a better version of our game.

On if the team is getting to where he wants them to be on team play going into the playoffs…

I’ve always said I like the fact that on any given night anybody could score and kind of carry us. I would like to see our upper echelon guys, Malcs [Will Malcom] and Callum [Crawford], grab the bull by the horns and then take the game over, and I think King [Jesse King] did a good job of doing that for them [Calgary]. And again, it’s an opportunity for us to learn a little bit more as well. So, you know those guys, they have free rein. And again, you’re going to force on them and it needs to come naturally and then in due time, they’ll understand that.

On how important clinching playoffs is as a young franchise…

Well first off, making playoffs, I know I downplayed a little bit, saying we’re not content and it’s like, what’s next. Our goal is to win a championship. But our goal this year was to make the playoffs. In two short years, I’m pretty proud of the strides we’ve taken as a group. From individual success and guys taking the next step, to our record and making the playoffs. Guys have played in this league a long time on the outside looking in and there’s good lacrosse teams that are on their side looking in. So certainly very proud of our commitment to achieving that first goal. As much as we’re not content, again, I think that we have to sit back and say kudos. Well done. But what’s next, right?

On how hard it is to clinch as a young team…

That’s very hard. Again, there’s great teams that have been in this league a long time. Take Saskatchewan for example- they were a championship caliber team three years ago. It’s in any given Sunday type league, right where anyone can win on any given night. So, we won the ones we’re supposed to, you know, I thought maybe that one slipped our fingertips tonight. But it’s no different than what I said to the guys in the locker room- lessons are good. They’re valuable. What was the significance of that game? Well, yeah, we would have loved to go out on a high, but we need to understand the minute details and where that game was lost. It wasn’t lost in a scheme or any of that stuff or our work ethic, because our work ethic was great and that’s one thing that I loved about our group, it was lost in the details, the little details. It was a bd time for a penalty and forcing a shot in transition when we didn’t need it. Not possessing the ball and allowing them to have a six on five at the end of the first quarter. There’s so many areas of the game that we just need to clean up and these guys are starting to understand the importance of those little, little details that end up having a big outcome.

On what tonight’s game foreshadows for a potential playoff series with Calgary…

Well, it’s a war. And then again they’re great team with great goaltending. I thought both goaltenders, you know, obviously, I think [Christian] Del Bianco, will probably say it wasn’t his best first half, but we knew he was going to settle in. But again, it’s in transition, and the speed of the play tonight was great. I thought it was up and down there was good looks in transition. The team is going to push the pace a little bit and then five on five it was as advertised. We need to clean up a few of our things on the defensive side of it, but I really liked how our offense was again not going to move the punch back.

On what he sees that makes this game a “war” against Calgary…

I just see the small battles that are going on and the individual matchups. Obviously, they’re a big offensive group and the fact that our guys are just getting in there and causing havoc and just trying to deter what they’re doing. There are some real significant matchups that I saw tonight and then getting our guy stepping up to it, which I don’t want to get into too much, but it was just from a tactical standpoint. But I really like the fact that from a defensive standpoint, we were we were harder to play against.

Panther City Lacrosse Club