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Black Fish win ALL West championship

Team sweeps series against Shooting Eagles at Langley Events Centre

A combination of a balanced offensive attack and outstanding goaltending helped propel the Black Fish to a league championship.

Two players had hat tricks while four others scored two goals each and Brandon Humphrey stopped 48 of 59 shots as the Black Fish defeated the defending champion Shooting Eagles 16-11 in game two of the Arena Lacrosse League West Finals at Langley Events Centre on Thursday night, March 28. The Black Fish won game one the previous night 13-12 to sweep the best-of-three series.

“It all starts with Humphrey. He played lights out all year and did the same this game. He is the engine that drives this team. We all work for him. He makes it so easy for us,” said Black Fish captain Connor Watson.

Humphrey finished with a 10.01 goals against average and an .812 save percentage. He was also named the ALL West Most Outstanding Goaltender Award, the third straight season he has earned the honour.

In Thursday’s victory, the Shooting Eagles led 6-5 at the half but the score could have been much worse considering they fired 40 shots on goal in the first 30 minutes and had countless others ping off the bar.

READ ALSO: Two teams battling for lacrosse western title in Langley

“He made some dynamite saves and kept us in the game,” said Black Fish coach Rod Jensen of his goaltender, who was the game’s second star following his .819 save percentage.

Locked in a tight game entering the third, the Black Fish seized control with three goals in 2:26 as part of an eight-goal quarter, building a 13-8 lead with a period to play.

“We didn’t lose our cool when things weren’t going our way,” said Brian Gillis. “It’s a 60-minute game and you want a calm intensity. We just kept with the process.”

“(Alex) Buque is a great goalie and is going to get his stops, so we knew we just had to get rubber on net, and they were going to go in eventually,” he added.

Gillis led his team with a pair of goals and five points (and was the first star), Laszlo Henning and Remo Schenato both potted hat tricks, Watson and Josh Mills each had two goal and two assists, Chase McIntyre scored twice and Jordan Roberts (1-2) and Aiden Murphy (1-1) completed the scoring.

READ ALSO: Lacrosse player breaks season scoring record in Langley

The Shooting Eagles were led by a five-goal performance from Spencer Bromley (the game’s third star) with Mark Yingling (2-3) and Coady Adamson (2-2) both notched two-goal games. Dylan Lacroix (1-2) and Isaac Richmond (1-0) scoring once apiece. Buque stopped 35 of 47 shots with Brody Harris making 11 saves on 14 shots.

Shooting Eagles coach Adam Smith said the Black Fish played a more consistent game and were patient in running through their offensive systems. It also hurt his team to only have a one-goal lead after a first half in which they had 40 shots on goal and double digits in shots that hit the post.

“It is pretty deflating to come into the second half and try to battle through that,” Smith said.