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Warriors Show Promise Despite Opener Defeat

Photo Credit Warriors FB Page

The Vancouver Warriors officially opened their 2-23-24 National Lacrosse League regular season at Rogers Arena Friday under the new bench boss Coach Curt Malawsky returning home to Vancouver.

However, despite a promising start, the team faced an 11-7 loss against the Panther City Lacrosse Club in their home opener. 

Curt is only the third GM and third Head Coach in team history and replaces Troy Cordingley who was the Interim GM and Head Coach for Warriors last season. 

He was in Calgary for the past 16 years with the organization but the last 13 seasons was in a front office and coaching role with the Roughnecks and recently as Assistant GM and Head Coach. 

He initially joined the Roughnecks staff in 2009 as an Associate Coach/Offence Coordinator and Assistant General Manager and in his first three seasons he collected a 33-15 regular season record with two first-place division finishes and a second-place finish. 

Vancouver Warriors v Panther City

His junior playing career with the Coquitlam Adanacs of the BCJALL, he played 13 seasons in the BC-based Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) with the New Westminster Salmonbellies, North Shore Indians, and Coquitlam Adanacs.

A six-time WLA All-Star, he tallied 716 points (326-390-716) in 227 regular season games and an additional 410 points (179-231-410) in 137 playoff games, winning the 2001 Mann Cup with Coquitlam.  

In May of this year, Malawsky was named Head Coach of the WLA’s Langley Thunder for the 2023 season. He has also served as a coach at the Junior A level, leading the Burnaby Lakers to back-to-back Minto Cups in 2004 and 2005 before capturing the 2010 championship with Coquitlam.

Malawsky was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a box player in 2015 and into the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame in 2022. 

Malawsky expressed satisfaction with the team’s offensive efforts, highlighting their opportunities inside the goal, but acknowledged Panther City’s goalie, Nick Damude, for delivering solid saves that hindered their scoring opportunities.

“I thought we had some good, great chances inside their goal. We made some good saves. We missed some of our shots,” mentioned Malawsky, emphasizing the need for precision in their shooting strategy. 

The game showcased a strong start from the Warriors, dominating both defensively and offensively, leading 3-1 into the second quarter. 

However, Panther City retaliated with a three-goal streak in the second, securing a one-goal lead at halftime that they maintained till the end.

Vancouver Warriors v Panther City

Despite the defeat, the Warriors showcased prowess in certain areas, notably in the special teams battle, converting two out of three power play opportunities. Adam Charalambides and Reid Bowering stood out with two goals each in the loss. 

Vancouver exhibited an impressive shot count, outshooting Panther City 51-41 through four quarters leaving the fans clearly wanting and waiting for the next home game.

However, Panther City’s veteran forward, Callum Crawford, stole the show with five goals while Will Malcom contributed with one goal and four assists. Nick Damude’s exceptional 45 saves for Panther City overshadowed Aaron Bold’s 30 saves for Vancouver. 

Reflecting on the game, individual players also shared their insights. 

Forward Adam Charalambides expressed his determination to improve his performance, acknowledging the need for better discipline in critical moments: “I felt okay, you know, just sinking my teeth into the systems and doing my best to learn about timing and trying to get those righties right. 

He continued “As they’re opening up to cut. I can be a lot better. And there’s a couple of moments in that game where I just wasn’t disciplined and I just really got to take that on myself and be accountable for that.”

Additionally, forward Keegan Bal highlighted the team’s post-game plans, emphasizing a proactive approach to learning from the defeat: “I think just watching film training, you know, the usual weeks, the seasons go on. But, you know, to wear that loss and be, you know, be pissed off because no one likes to lose.”

The Warriors, under Malawsky’s leadership, aim to harness the positives and rectify the shortcomings as they gear up for future encounters, striving for a stronger performance in the games to come. 

Looking ahead, the Warriors have a bye week before they face the Georgia Swarm at Rogers Arena on Dec. 16, providing them with crucial time for reflection and strategic adjustments.


About Sportswave



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
Awarded Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for tangible for significant assistant given for the better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
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