With nine players missing, the odds were stacked against the Estevan Tarpon Energy Big Dogs from the beginning.
Despite getting off to a strong start, the shorthanded club lost 11-5 to the Yorkton Bulldogs on Saturday in Prairie Gold Lacrosse League action in Yorkton.
The Big Dogs (2-4-1) were without Ryan and Wayde Curzon, Ty Currie, Marshall Holzer, Kelsy Omland, Kaleb Memory, Saige Christenson, Bryceton Cote and Ryan Juhlke.
"It's tough to compete when you're that short," said Big Dogs head coach Evan Handley.
"No team can compete with missing that many players. With a full roster, that's a game we win."
Rhett Handley scored four of the Big Dogs' goals, with Ryan Frehlick adding the other marker.
The Big Dogs opened the scoring on a goal by Handley in the first minute of the game, converting on an early power play.
Frehlick scored later in the period to give Estevan a 2-0 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with five straight goals to take a 5-2 advantage after 20 minutes.
Big Dogs starter Daniel Wenham left the game in favour of Dustin Cowan just past the midway point of the second period, with the Bulldogs leading 8-3.
Handley said Josh Pryznyk, Michael Bittman and Tanner Froese were among the other standouts for Estevan.
"Our kids worked really, really hard," said Handley.
He said his team got into some penalty trouble and also struggled with poor conditions at the Yorkton venue.
"Halfway through the game, the floor was really starting to get wet and the kids were slipping and sliding. That's not what lacrosse should be played like," he said.
The Big Dogs return to the Ikon Centre, formerly known as the Lignite Miners Centre, on Friday when they host the Regina Rifles. Game time is 7 p.m. They then travel to Saskatoon on Sunday to visit the Steelers.