BCJALL Off to Roaring Start After Opening Weekend
It was a good thing the Langley Thunder got out to a strong 40-minutes in the BCJALL season opener in Port Coquitlam on Friday night, as they held off a late charge from the Saints to become the first team to enter the win column this year.
Langley outscored Poco 7-3 in the middle frame, which made up for not scoring in the third period. The scoring frenzy was sparked in an unfamiliar way. The Thunder potted three goals in under two minutes with a man down after goaltender Torin Vanrheenan took a slashing penalty. Langley also added a shorthanded marker in the first period, marking an obvious part of the game that Dan Stroup will want to address with his club going forward.
Something Stroup may take solace with is the way his team shared the ball. They got goals from seven different players with only Daylin Kellough potting multiple. He also got solid goaltending out of Kyle Mooney after he replaced Calvin Hafner between the pipes.
2018 was a season of struggle for both the Delta Islanders and Burnaby Lakers, but with 2019 comes renewed optimism, and the product the two teams put out on the floor over the weekend shows there are some strides being made by both clubs.
Lacrosse is a game of runs and this one was no different. The Lakers exploded out of the gate in the second period, scoring five unanswered goals to take an 8-4 late. Then it was Delta's turn to answer back with five unanswered of their own. That would be the difference as the Lakers can probably look to a scoreless third period as a major factor in the loss.
Delta converted on two of their four power-play chances while adding a short-handed marker, while Burnaby put up two markers in six chances with the man advantage. Veteran goalie Matt Hills stepped up big in the final period, keeping a clean sheet with 14 saves for his first win of the season. Diesel de Guzman was also impressive as he was peppered with 59 shots, good for a .847 save percentage.
Langley used another dominant second period to stay out of the loss column despite hosting an impressive and talented Victoria Shamrocks team on Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Martel made his debut and didn't disappoint, posting four goals and four assists in his first action of the season. Nathaniel Kozevnikov was similarily impressive with a hat-trick. That already gives him an impressive nine goals through the first pair of games. Braeden Washington showed up well in spot duty, taking over the cage for Vanrheenan, who struggled through much of the first period.
The Shamrocks will likely need to play themselves into shape as they wait for some reinforcements to come back from school. The young squad started well but also looked a little overwhelmed at times, scoring just twice over the final 40 minutes. Top scorer Zach Manns had a four-point afternoon with a pair of goals and assists. Kyle Pepper got his first BCJALL goal and showed why he will likely be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year. Nolan Dalep and Ryan Atkinson split time in goal, with Atkinson allowing two goals on 13 shots in 21 minutes relief.
GAMES THIS WEEK:
LANGLEY AT BURNABY - MONDAY - 8:00 PM - BILL COPELAND ARENA
COQUITLAM AT POCO - MONDAY - 8:00 PM - POCO REC CENTRE
NEW WESTMINSTER AT BURNABY - FRIDAY - 8:00 PM - BILL COPELAND ARENA