BCJALL Season Preview: Port Coquitlam Saints
PORT COQUITLAM SAINTS
2018 RECORD: 13-6-2
2018 GOAL DIFFERENTIAL: +31
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 12-8-1, 4th Place
The Saints were one of the pleasant surprises of the 2018 season. After a strong showing the 2017 season, Poco kept up the momentum and shocked the lacrosse world again, losing just six games in a season that was derailed in part by a major Trade Deadline deal that saw top scorer Dylan Foulds, top defender Ryland Rees and veteran Graydon Bradley shipped to Coquitlam for the A’s Minto Cup run. In return, the team stocked the shelves with much-needed draft picks and gave their young players valuable playoff experience.
Poco will look to surprise everyone again this season, and they’re well positioned to do so. They have a crop of players who are still young but have gotten the requisite experience. They’re also led by Dan Stroup, who has been a proven winner wherever he’s gone as both a player and coach. Josh Wahl steps back to a management role following the retirement of Reg Thompson, who oversaw the club for more than two decades.
Wahl was a big part of Poco’s B1 club, who finished the season in 4th place with a 10-7-1 record. They had a number of players who can make the jump this season: Evan Wray was a force in the playoffs, putting up 12 goals in five games. Jacob Dunbar, a high 2017 draft pick, filled the net with 45 goals and 69 points in 17 regular season contests. Alongside them are a number of acquisitions like Ryan Johannson, Reece Hansford and Aiden Murphy who could all make an impact.
Don’t forget about players like Clark Walter, Jacob Patterson and Garret Winter, all guys who will be expected to help the Saints take the next step of earning a deep playoff run.
The Saints have been written off before, and they kept marching on. Don’t expect 2019 to be any different.