St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics open playoffs this week

Team finished first overall in Ontario with 18-1-1 record. Photo Credit: Facebook/ St. Catharines Athletics 

When the St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics open their playoff run Tuesday night, they’ll be playing a familiar foe.

The Wallaceburg Red Devils.

The Athletics finished first overall in the 30-team Junior B loop, while Wallaceburg was eighth in the Western Conference, but the A’s played them twice over the final two weeks of the regular season, and will play them at least three more times over the course of the next five days.

St. Catharines returned most of their returning core from the 2023 season, something Head Coach Alec Tamas credits his team’s success too.

“We’ve got a lot of chemistry this year, we kind of built off that from last year,” said Tamas recently on the Niagara Sports Report on Newstalk 610 CKTB.

“We returned a lot of players, we had a lot of good, talented, players come up from our minor system, we brought in a couple of players as well.

But we’ve been able to roll since game 1.

The Athletics roster consists of over 90-percent hailing from the Niagara Region, including captain and Virgil native Jaden Patterson who put up 116 points in 20 regular season games.

The A’s – Red Devils series is best three out of five scenario with games two and three in St. Catharines, but played out of the Athletics old home – Bill Burgoyne Arena.

Tamas feels focus will be the key for another long successful postseason run.

“Just stay focused and stay hungry,” Tamas said. “We have to continue to push each other. We know we have a target on our backs, we have to stay motivated and stay humble as well.”

And while Tamas serves as head coach, three of his assistants are all current or former National Lacrosse League (NLL) players in Alex Pace from the Philadelphia Wings who runs the defense. Philadelphia teammate Sam LeClair of Welland runs the offense, along with former pro Jeff Wittig.

All four are former St. Catharines Athletics as is Team Manager Jacob Johnson.

“The history of lacrosse in this area is unbelievable, the Athletics organization has been around since 1877,” said Tamas.

“And the talent we produce and continue to produce is unbelievable.”

And an (18-1-1) record is full testament to that.

The following is the St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics first round playoff series schedule: The A’s first two home playoff games will be contested out of Bill Burgoyne Arena due to scheduling conflicts at Canada Games Park.

(Best 3 out of 5 vs. the Wallaceburg Red Devils)

Tuesday June 18 at Wallaceburg 8 pm

Saturday June 22 at St. Catharines – BILL BURGOYNE Arena 2 pm

Sunday June 23 at St. Catharines – BILL BURGOYNE Arena 4 pm

Tuesday June 25 at Wallaceburg 8 pm (if necessary)

Saturday June 29 at St. Catharines – CANADA GAMES PARK 7 pm

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