Tier 1 and Junior A Langley Thunder teams took on their Victoria Shamrocks counterparts Sunday, May 28 at Langley Events centre, with the visitors improving their records at the expense of their hosts.
Tier 1 Thunder had a solid opening 20 minutes – they were down just 5-3 against the first-place Victoria Shamrocks – but things fell apart in that middle stanza as the Thunder surrendered nine goals, losing 17-8.
It was the second loss of the weekend for Langley as they also fell 14-10 to the host Maple Ridge Burrards at Cam Neely Arena on Friday night.
“We are struggling with consistency. We have a good period on Friday night and we are up and then we have a really tough period in the second. Today, we played the first period fairly well against a really good team and then we just struggled with our consistency,” said Langley coach Darren Buchan.
The Thunder led 6-3 after a period against the Burrards before Maple Ridge turned the tables in the second, sending the teams to the locker room tied at nine with a period to play. Unfortunately, it would be the Burrards scoring five of the final six goals.
On Sunday, the Shamrocks outscored Langley 9-1 over the middle frame to put the game out of reach.
“We are a young team trying to find their way. We had a decent first – we actually won the third – but we gave up nine in the second. It is just hard to find that consistency,” Buchan said.
With a young roster consisting primarily of first and second-year players, Buchan said the lessons learned now will pay dividends down the road.
“That is the beauty of the five-year program: when you are this young, you have to learn. We asked them at the end of the second period not to quit. They worked hard and only gave up three goals in the third period,” he said.
Junior A Thunder were unable to snap a lengthy-losing streak,despite the return of Stuart Phillips to the line-up.
Phillips had a hand in all his team’s goals, but his two goals and two assists was not enough as Langley lost a sixth-straight game, falling 5-4 to Victoria.
The win improved Victoria to 7-2 on the season – a three-way tie for top spot – while the Thunder sit at the other end of the standings with a 1-7 mark.
Braiden Struss and Jayme Brain had the other Thunder goals while Brayden Wandler was fantastic in goal, finishing with 47 saves (.904 save percentage) as Langley was outshot 52-37. Brodie Wade (2+0), Sean Clarke (1+2) and Koen Block (0+3) led the way for Victoria. Daniel Ramage stopped 33 of the 37 Langley shots.
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