A handful of Prince Albert Predators junior lacrosse players have had quite the eventful summer.
Three of them, Braelan Frenette, Arliss McCloy and Brendon Beaulac, played on the international stage. They played in the World Junior Lacrosse Championship on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario Aug. 24-27.
The three represented Canada West, which went 3-1 in the group stage, eventually losing the bronze medal game to the hosting Iroquois Grand River team.
They held their own on the stat check. Frenette and McCloy each finished the tournament with a goal and three assists in six tournament games, while Beaulac got on the scoresheet with an assist.
Frenette admitted there were a few nerves heading into a prestigious international tournament, but said the rest of the Canada West squad did a lot to let them feel welcome.
“We had no idea what to expect, so we went in there not knowing what was going to happen,” Frenette said. “It ended up being that all the guys were really nice with a really friendly coaching staff and everything.
“It worked out perfect for us, overall it was a great experience. It’s so good for our confidence… We just grew so much as players and bonded so well. It was just overall an awesome experience,” he said.
Frenette, McCloy and Beaulac all had decent preparation for the tournament, as they all previously joined the Saskatchewan S.W.A.T in the 2016 Founders Cup national junior B tournament Aug. 16-21 in Orangeville, Ont. Also on that squad from the Predators were Evan Beaulac and Danny Martin. Prince Albert’s Ethan Kennedy had played with the S.W.A.T throughout the season. Although the S.W.A.T finished 0-5 in the season, a lot of them showed enough to get added on the western Canadian side.
The Predators play in the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League (PGLL), a Tier II Junior B lacrosse. Going up to a national Junior B, Tier I tournament, then to an international tournament was challenging enough.
“Stepping up to the Founders Cup, we fit in really well with those guys even though they’re still considered a higher level of lacrosse than us, than the PGLL,” Frenette said. “Moving on to the world championships, we actually did pretty well there, too, just from only playing PGLL.”
“To move on to the world championships, it was awesome. It was such a good level of lacrosse. We didn’t do so well in Founders, but we moved on to worlds with Canada West.”
At the World Championships, the P.A. trifecta and company played against the Czech Republic and American national teams, as well as the eventual tournament-winning Iroquois West Side and the Iroquois Grand River team that hosted the event.
“It was crazy, playing against the Czech Republic and obviously our rivals, the United States,” Frenette said. “The Czech Republic, all those guys speak a different language. It was awesome. It was cool, completely different than anything I’ve ever done. The rivalry with the United States was really cool, because usually the United States is a lot better than Canada in a lot of sports, but that wasn’t the case there.”
On Twitter: @jeff_dandrea
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