After wrapping up their Regina Baseball League regular season this past week the Canucks head to Regina this weekend for Provincials. The Canucks finished with a 16-2-1 record in the Regina league which saw them finish in 2nd place behind the 1st place Swift Current 57s. The Canucks 1st game at provincials is tonight at 6 pm vs. the Sask 5 Giants.
“It’s been a quick season. I think our first game was May 13th and here we are preparing for provincials two months later”, says Canucks head coach Shane Sowden. “It’s been a lot of fun. The boys have consistently improved throughout the season which is probably one of the most gratifying things about this group. We finished 2nd overall in the Regina league which is great but most importantly we have seen growth in every single player. The boys have competed hard all season and have been rewarded for it. We (assistant coaches Evan Schwabe and Ken Neff) have said numerous times throughout the season that it will be fun seeing how this group of kids progress over the next few years when it comes to baseball.”
The Canucks closed out the regular season with a doubleheader vs Swift Current and a single game against the Regina White Sox. In the first game of the doubleheader against Swift Current, the teams tied 10-10 before the Canucks handed the 57’s their first regular season loss of the season 10-7 in the second game. A week later the Canucks downed the White Sox 18-11 in Regina.
“The boys were pretty excited to beat Swift Current. They have a nice squad and are coached very well so it was fun seeing the boys compete against a strong opponent right before provincials. Then to play the White Sox a week later was another great opportunity to face some strong competition before provincials. Mostly we’ve seen the boy's confidence grow a little bit more over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of provincials.”
The Canucks are one of 12 teams vying for a provincial championship at the 11U AAA level. They are in a pool with the Regina Blue Jays, Saskatoon A’s and Sask 5 Giants. There are three pools with the 1st place team in each pool advancing to the semi-finals after pool play along with the team with the next best record in the entire tournament.
“It’s going to be a challenge to get out of our pool. We’ve seen all of the teams at one point throughout the season and there are some very good AAA teams in the province. When talking with other coaches around the province we all feel there are 7-8 teams that are all strong enough to win this thing on any given weekend”, says Sowden. “It’s 11U baseball…anything can happen. We are definitely in the mix and have as good a chance as any this weekend. The best part is we get to compete and get better again this weekend. We are all looking forward to it.”
After provincials, the Canucks will travel to one last tournament the following weekend in Swift Current for a mini 4-team tournament with Swift current and two selected teams. One from Regina and one from Saskatoon. All games for provincials are being held at Pacer Park in Regina. Games times for the Canucks are as follows:
Friday 6 pm vs Sask 5 Giants
Saturday noon vs. Saskatoon A’s
Saturday 6 pm vs. Regina Blue Jays