Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
With the Coquitlam Adanacs winning 13-7 against the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Thursday night to close out the regular season, a logjam was created for all four WLA playoff spots.
The win improved the Adanacs record to 12-6. However, the other three playoff teams — the Langley Thunder, Victoria Shamrocks and Nanaimo Timbermen — had the exact same record of 12-6.
To clear this up, the WLA had to go into a tiebreaker scenario that looked at head-to-head records and goals for and against. Here is how the scenario played out heading into Thursday night’s game:
So the playoffs will play out like this: Langley heads into the playoff as the number one seed and will face the fourth-place Victoria Shamrocks. Coquitlam will be the number two seed and will have home floor advantage against number-three Nanaimo.
Of interest, Langley and Coquitlam played one game this year in which the Adanacs came out on top. Due to personnel issues, both teams were forced to forfeit and both teams were given a loss. Had the forfeit never happened, Coquitlam would have taken the number-one spot.
To the game
While the Salmonbellies were playing for pride, the Adanacs were fighting to get the best playoff spot possible. It showed in the first period as the Adanacs took a three-goal lead.
Ethan Forgrave opened the scoring at 1:31 to give the ‘Bellies the lead. Goaltender Neil Tyacke sent a pass from downtown to Colton Clark on transition at 9:19 to make it 2-0 for the Salmonbellies.
After a too many men call, Coquitlam capitalized on the power play at 10:49 with a marker from Brett Mcintyre. Coquitlam would tie it up at 13:19 after the ‘Bellies’ Drew Belgrave took an interference penalty. Adam Dickson scored on the power play to make it 2-2.
Twenty-five seconds later Luke Jaber’s shot through traffic found the back of the net to give the Adanacs a 3-2 advantage.
Special teams came through again at the 17:36 mark, but this time for the Salmonbellies. Thomas Vela came through on the man-advantage to tie it up again 3-3.
It only took seven seconds for the Adanacs to retake the lead with a goal from Brett Draper to start a four-goal run. Reid Bowering scored a pair of transition goals. The first came at 18:17 with an assist from Christian Del Bianco. The second came unassisted with 35 seconds left in the period. The Adanacs led 6-3 heading into the first break.
Adanacs continue to pour it on
The second period went scoreless for the majority of the first half. Tyler Garrison got on the board at 8:47 to round out Coquitlam’s four-goal stretch.
Jordan McBride weaved his way through the defence to get the Salmonbellies back within three goals 7-4.
Coquitlam again put together a three-goal run as they began to run away with the game. Adam Dickson found the back of the net at 16:29, followed by Dylan Watson at 17:20. Mcintyre scored with 1:02 left in the period to make it 10-4 for the Adanacs.
With 10 seconds left in the period, the Salmonbellies called a timeout. They performed a set play with the extra attacker to perfection as Ethan Forgrave beat the buzzer to make it 10-5 in favour of Coquitlam after 40 minutes.
Battle for a four-way tie
The mission was simple for the Adanacs: hold on to the lead and force a four-way tie heading into the plays. And they did just that.
Watson found the back of the net for Coquitlam 1:47 into the period to extend through lead. McBride would not be outdone 59 seconds left to make the score 11-6.
An outside shot by Adam Dickson just before the shot clock expired beat Tyacke at 3:20. Tyacke would then find McBride on transition. Del Bianco made the save, but Vela buried the rebound to make it 12-7.
Ryan Johnson rounded out the scoring for Coquitlam with 54 seconds left in the game to make the final 13-7. It now ends the regular season and we head to the WLA playoffs.
- Brett Mcintyre, Coquitlam Adanacs
- Jordan McBride, New Westminster Salmonbellies
- Reid Bowering, Coquitlam Adanacs
New Westminster Salmonbellies
Jordan McBride, 2g 2a
Thomas Vela, 2g 1a
Colton Clark, 1g 1a
Ethan Forgrave, 2g
Brett Mcintyre, 2g 2a
Adam Dickson, 3g 1a
Ryan Johnson, 1g 3a
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Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.