Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Valkyries in the news

Valkyries look to make amends
By: Daniel Nugent-Bowman for The StarPhoenix, June 6, 2015

The Saskatoon Valkyries have finished licking their wounds after last weekend's shocking 49-9 loss to the Regina Riot.

However, it did take longer than usual to put the game behind them.

Valkyries look to make amends
Saskatoon Valkyries defensive lineman Lauren Bourdon
tackles Regina Riot receiver Rachelle Smith in WWCFL
action on May 30th.
Photo by: Liam Richards, The StarPhoenix
"Typically we do that right away," Valkyries general manager and trainer Michelle Duchene said. "But this week I would say we needed to look at what we did and what happened.

"But pretty quickly we have to turn that off and forget about it. Probably within a couple days we did that."

The Valkyries (2-1) wrap up their Western Women's Canadian Football League schedule Sunday with a road matchup against the Manitoba Fearless (0-3).

They are looking to rebound from their first home loss in team history - a span of 19 games.

It was an ugly one at that. And it was to their provincial rivals.

"We knew that they are a very athletic team and that they're strong," Duchene said. "They've got a whole new coaching staff and it felt like they were rebuilding this year in a forward way. We anticipated we were going to have really good games against Regina and that's what we got.

"We never would have anticipated that we would lose by 40 points. That's definitely

not something that we wanted to do, but it makes us work harder not only on the field but in preparation."

As Duchene notes, the loss - only their second ever - provides a "reality check" heading into the post-season.

The WWCFL playoffs start following a leaguewide bye next weekend.

The Valkyries may have ceded the top seed to the Riot (2-1), who hold the tiebreaker in the four-team Prairie Conference. Regina plays the Winnipeg Wolfpack (2-1) in its regular season finale. A win secures first place.

So if Saskatoon and Regina are to meet in the Prairie final for the fifth straight time, the four-time defending league-champion Valkyries would likely be the road team.

That was the case two years ago as well. Regina secured home-field advantage in 2013 by handing the Valkyries their only other WWCFL loss.

"Honestly, it makes it more exciting," Duchene said. "Hopefully we're going to be playing in the conference final against Regina again.

"I think everybody's really excited about the possibility that that's going to happen. It will make us work a lot harder."

dnugent-bowman@thestarphoenix.com Twitter.com/DNBsports