For his daughter’s third birthday, the logical thing would be for Dane Dobbie to score three goals.
Instead, he delivered a sock trick as his six goals led the Langley Thunder to a dominating season-opening 20-5 win.
The Thunder were hosting the Burnaby Lakers at Langley Events Centre on Wednesday (May 24) night to kick off the 2023 Western Lacrosse Association season, and while it may have been just the first game of the Senior A season, Langley was in peak form.
Langley led 8-0 after one period and 16-2 through 40 minutes.
The team received huge games from Dobbie (6+2), Robert Church (4+5), Chase Scanlan (3+4) and Curtis Dickson (1+6), while goaltender Frank Scigliano was nearly unbeatable, stopping 32 of 34 shots (.941 save percentage) before getting a rest in the third period.
Jake Bowen (2+2), Jordan Magnuson (1+1), Tristan Kirkham (1+0), Graydon Bradley (1+0), and Keegan Bell (1+0) rounded out the scoring while Jesse Gillespie finished with a trio of helpers. Kyle Mooney stopped 15 of 18 Burnaby shots in the third period, an .833 save percentage.
“(Frank) was unreal. He is standing on his head; he is making the saves that he needs to make, and he is making ones that are tough look easy. You can’t ask for anything more from your goalie and back end, to be your foundation,” said Thunder assistant coach Ian Poole, who was running the bench in head coach Curt Malawsky’s absence.
Bowen, an import player from Alberta, was making his WLA debut.
“Honestly, pretty surreal … all the big names on this team, playing with (guys like Dane) Dobbie, who was my coach in midget. Just a really cool experience,” he said.
With such an offensive arsenal up front, Bowen said the message from the veterans was to stay focussed.
“The biggest thing was just to keep a calm head. I have been playing this game for 15 years, so it is just another lacrosse game, just go out there and do what you can,” Bowen said, adding that he was thrilled to contribute immediately.
“Great to get the monkey off the back there. First goal in first game… it was quite the experience. Just excited to see what else there is to come here.”
The Lakers were led by three points apiece from Wakeriat Bowhunter (2+1), and Laszlo Henning (0+3) each had three points with Gordie Phillips, Brandon Luitwieler, and Jacob Dunbar scoring a goal apiece. Keegen Melenychuk (28 saves) and Brody Harris (16 saves) shared goaltending duties in the Burnaby goal.
Langley was back in action on Friday, May 26 as they visited the Victoria Shamrocks.
The next Thunder home game is Wednesday, May 31, as they host the New Westminster Salmonbellies at Langley Events Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
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