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Back-to-back nights of lacrosse action in Langley on Week 11

Sea Spray score 10 unanswered goals, down Shooting Eagles 20-15 in Arena Lacrosse League play
Black Fish win 15-14 in overtime victory against Grizzlies Tuesday, at Langley Events Centre. (Ryan Molag, Langley Events Centre/Special to Langley Advance Times)

The race atop the standings just got a whole lot tighter in Arena Lacrosse League.

The Sea Spray handed the Shooting Eagles a 20-15 defeat on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre, leaving both teams with identical 7-4 records.

Four games remain in the ALL’s west division regular season.

The Shooting Eagles were down two at the half, but opened the third with three straight goals to pull ahead.

Their lead was short-lived, as the Sea Spray blew things wide open with 10 goals in a span of a little more than 11 minutes.

The five-goal margin of victory was the largest of the season for the Sea Spray.

“Definitely huge momentum moving forward (and) to get one where we had a little bit of comfort was definitely nice,” said Tyler Ewen of finally beating the Shooting Eagles for the first time in four tries.

“We do tend to take quite a few shots that don’t go anywhere, so today was just good shot selection and moving the ball well. Everyone was seeing each other and just clicking,” he added about their third-quarter dominance.

Ewen had five goals and seven points and the outburst comes on the heels of the last game, where he did not find the back of the net.

He said his teammates have encouraged him to keep firing away, even if the results are not always there.

Also helping the Sea Spray offence was James Rahe, who made his season debut last game, adding another dimension to the team’s offence. Rahe had four goals and nine points in the win.

“It helps a lot. He’s got all the experience in the world and it is like having a coach as well. He will direct us on the floor … he is a big help for our offence,” Ewen said of having Rahe back.

ALL west’s leading scorer, Tyler Kirkby, continued his torrid pace, registering another seven assists in the win. He leads in both assists (69) and points (84) and is averaging 8.4 points per game. Both totals are already all-time highs for the three-year-old ALL west.

The Sea Spray’s Rahe, Ewen, and Gordie Phillips were the game’s three stars as Phillips was dominant on face-offs, going 27-9. He also had a goal and an assist.

The rest of the offence came courtesy of Kirkby (1-7), Adam Dickson (3-2), Jordan Gabriele (1-4), Lukas Nielsen (2-2), Kordell Primus (2-2), and Aidan Ellis (1-0). Keegan Melenychuk stopped 48 of 63 shots.

For the Shooting Eagles, this marked a second straight defeat, the first time this season they have dropped consecutive games. The previous game saw them tied at the break, but shutout in the second half, falling 17-8. And on Wednesday, they were ahead by one early in the third before surrendering 10 straight goals.

Dylan McIntosh and Declan Fitzpatrick each had a hat trick and four points for the Shooting Eagles, while Mark Yingling scored twice and set up three others.

Spencer Bromley, Isaac Richmond and Coady Adamson all had a goal and three helpers and Doug Porter (1-1), Jacob Dowell (1-0), and Aiden Hindson (1-0) rounded out the scoring.

Both goalies saw action in net for the team, with Brody Harris stopping 37 of 53 shots while Tristan Lomas made 10 saves on 14 shots.


In the meantime, sports can be cruel.

Despite trailing for less than three minutes over the entirety of the game, the Grizzlies wound up on the losing end of a 15-14 score to the Black Fish on Tuesday night, also at Langley Events Centre (LEC).

The Grizzlies trailed just three times over the course of the ALL west division game – 1-0 for 45 seconds in the first quarter, and then twice in the fourth quarter 13-12 for 66 seconds and 14-13 for another 56 seconds.

But, the game would go to overtime and Jordan Roberts buried the winner, ending the game at the 2:24 mark of sudden-death overtime.

It marked an eight straight defeat for the Grizzlies who now sit at 2-9 on the season. Their last five losses have come by a combined six goals.

Grizzlies coach Justin Doucette knows the team is getting closer and closer to earning a victory.

“We want to be able to play 60 full minutes and not take off five or six minutes, which really cost us,” he said.

“It is like the batter who is at the plate and keeps striking out, but once he gets that first hit, things will start to roll. It is the monkey on our back.”

Black Fish coach Rod Jensen said his team has changed their mentality since returning from the holiday break and it has paid off with four wins in the past five games to improve to 6-5.

“We know these games go back and forth, so we’ve told the guys don’t worry if we are up or down and just be prepared for every game to be tight,” Jensen said.

“We hung in there and waited; we know we have a pretty good offence, even though we are missing some lefties.”

The Grizzlies took an 8-4 lead to the locker room at halftime, but penalty problems allowed the Black Fish to get back into the game as they scored two power-play goals in 14 seconds on consecutive two-man advantages and then added a third power-play goal 37 seconds later to make it 8-7.

Despite that lapse – which included the Grizzlies coaches getting whistled for a bench minor after a Black Fish that gave their opponent another two-man advantage – Doucette liked how his team responded to the adversity.

“But the players themselves picked themselves back up, which is a testament to where we have been. I think in the early games, we would put our head down and they would keep going down and that’s where scores would separate a bit more. And now we are fighting to the end and keeping the games tight,” Doucette said.

Ultimately, the teams would need overtime, and after each side had multiple possessions in the sudden-death period, only the Black Fish were able to get the ball on net with Roberts burying the winner on his team’s fourth shot.

For the second consecutive game, Connor Watson earned first star honours as the Black Fish captain had a hat trick and seven points. Laszlo Henning (the third star) finished with four goals and six points.

The pair lead the ALL west with 27 and 24 goals, respectively.

“They have such good sense of the floor and good finish,” Jensen said.

The rest of the offence came courtesy of Roberts (3-1), Chase McIntyre (2-1), Nathan Roseborsky (1-3), Ethan M’Lot (1-2), and Nick Jensen (1-1). Both the team’s goalies saw action with Dave Mather stopping 22 of 30 shots while Brandon Humphrey made 21 saves on 27 shots.

Kyle Brunsch was the second star after his five-goal, nine-point performance while Sekawnee Baker also had three goals and three assists. Drew Kask (2-3), Pearson Willis (2-2), Jack Margetson (1-0), and Toru Morimatsu (1-0) had the other goals. Brayden Wandler stopped 36 of 51 shots.

For Brunsch, this marked his third straight game where he has finished with five goals and nine points.

“He is doing things with the ball and off the ball. He has energy every shift, he is focused every time he steps on the floor and guys are starting to follow suit. He has been unreal,” Doucette said.

The coach also credited the play of Baker, the team’s leading scorer with 56 points in 10 games.

While Baker has always been a threat at the offensive end, Doucette said Baker has been playing with more energy and more responsible defensively, as well as getting to loose balls and that has been contagious.

Up next: The Shooting Eagles (7-4) are next in action against the Grizzlies (2-9) on Tuesday, Feb. 6 while the Sea Spray (7-4) play the Black Fish (6-5) on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Both games are at Langley Events Centre with 7 p.m. start times.


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