It was more than just a disappointing loss for one fan attending the Saskatchewan Rush and Rochester Knighthawks game Saturday at Sasktel Centre.
Craig Hinz was the last man standing in the lacrosse team’s season-long bracket challenge. That was until Rochester shocked the home crowd by holding a lead throughout the game, en route to a 13-10 win.
“I’ll be honest, it was not great,” Hinz said of watching his team struggle from the first faceoff. “I had good faith in them for most of the game that they would come back.”
“It was very disappointing at the end of the day, that is for sure.”
Hinz was one of 3,257 entries in the bracket challenge that asked fans to predict each win and loss in the season for a grand prize of $100,000 and a new pickup truck.
Hinz admitted he did not imagine he would survive all the way to the end. His bracket had Saskatchewan winning its third championship with its only remaining loss taking place on April 7 against the Colorado Mammoth.
“I never did expect that I would get all the way. Last night was not when I thought it would end,” he said before adding how surprised he was that the Rush lost.
“I was concerned about the game two weeks from now, having picked the Rush to lose. How was I going to feel hoping they lose, yet still hoping they to win?”
The game wasn’t without its dramatic moments, especially for Hinz. Down 11-6, Saskatchewan staged a comeback in the fourth quarter, but fell one goal short in the final minutes.
“I was cheering pretty hard in my section,” he said. “Everybody in my section knows I was that one person left and they were all cheering hard for that as well.”
Hinz said he will definitely be joining the bracket challenge next season. In the meantime, he’s going to continue cheering on his team to victory.
“It’s too bad it came to an end when it did because it was pretty fun for a while, but all good things come to and end.”
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Chris Vandenbreekel