BCJALL Year in Review
Nothing is ever set in stone in the BCJALL, and 2019 proved no different. We saw some considerable changes in the standings from 2018 to 2019, with the top five teams all vying for playoff position, making a number of big deals leading up to the trade deadline. We often talk about parity, but this is the closest season in recent memory that comes close to actually fulfilling the definition of the word.
The randomness continued into the Minto Cup, which was held at the Langley Events Centre in August. Despite the Coquitlam Adanacs sweeping the Victoria Shamrocks in the best-of-three BCJALL Finals, it would be Victoria who had the last laugh, knocking out the Adanacs in a de facto elimination game on the final night of round robin play. That spurred the team past the Okotoks Raiders and into the finals with a vaunted and experienced Orangveille Northmen team.
They proved to be a hurdle too high for Victoria to overcome, winning the seventh Minto Cup in club history, but Victoria was able to prove that they can play with the so-called ‘big boys’ and staking their claim as one of the teams on the rise in Canadian national lacrosse.
The best story of the year goes to the Nanaimo Timbermen, who both shocked and impressed lacrosse fans across BC with a deep roster, strong goaltending, and a complete reversal of fortunes compared to recent seasons. The club improved their win total from three to 14, their goals for from 163 to 226 and their goals against from 263 to 202.
Who can replicate that similar story in 2020? It depends on who you ask, but two contenders for the honour are the Burnaby Lakers and Port Coquitlam Saints. Both have cores packed with emerging stars and are ripe with coaching experience, which is never a bad combination. You can never count out the traditional powerhouses like New Westminster and Coquitlam, who always make the necessary moves to position themselves at the top of the standings when all is said and done.
As we turn the page on another chapter of the BCJALL, we take a look back at all eight team’s biggest accomplishments, and what they need to do going forward.