A five-goal third period sent the Langley Thunder to a fourth straight victory as the team remains unbeaten on the BC Junior A Lacrosse League season.
Following a less than stellar opening 40 minutes – the Thunder led 3-1 after one before the New Westminster Salmonbellies knotted the score at five goals apiece through two periods – Langley’s power play broke things open in what became a 10-8 victory.
The game was played on Thursday night at Langley Events Centre.
They were not as focused as they needed to be, according to Langley coach Adam Smith.
“New West has a really good team, and I think some of our players looked at their record and not their playing style. We come in thinking it is going to be a little bit easier game than it was and got complacent and that is what I relayed to them in between the second and the third,” said Smith.
After the teams traded goals to start the third, the score remained tied with just under nine minutes to play, but the Thunder scored back-to-back power play goals to take the lead for good, finishing with three man-advantage goals on five chances.
“We moved the ball well on the power play, they couldn’t get to us and couldn’t hit us,” said Cody Malawsky.
Malawsky drew the penalty which led to the go-ahead goal, which he set up with the primary assist before he scored the final goal to finish with a goal and three helpers.
Stuart Phillips (three goals, two assists) and Drew Kask (two goals, three assists) both had five-point games for Langley, with Kyle Brunsch also popping in a pair and adding an assist. Tristan Kirkham (one goal, one assist) and Dane Chard (one goal) had the other Langley tallies.
Brayden Wandler stopped 28 of the 36 New Westminster shots on goal.
The ‘Bellies offence was led by three goals and four points from Noah Armitage and two goals and an assist from Austin Ducommun. Keegan Lutsch-Melenychuk made 43 saves as his team was outshot 53-36.
“All of a sudden we started battling for loose balls, we had guys who were a little flat footed in the first, come out and battle super hard in the third. That’s what made the game for us,” Smith said.
“We should feel good that we got the win, but it should be a learning lesson. We need to come away knowing that teams won’t give up. Just because a team is 1-3, it is Junior A and they are a good team,” the coach added.
Regardless of how they came to the win, Langley is 4-0 and the only unbeaten team among the eight squads.
“It is not individual; we are all together. We are molding, we are playing hard for each other. Nobody is playing for the name on the back of the jersey, we are all playing for the logon on the front,” Malawsky said.
The Thunder are back in action today (Saturday, May 28) as they head to the road to face the Nanaimo Timbermen (1-1). The team’s next home game at Langley Events Centre is Thursday, June 2 (7:30 p.m.) as they host the Coquitlam Adanacs (2-1).
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