Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network
Chasing down the final playoff spot in the WLA, the New Westminster Salmonbellies got a pivotal win, 10-6, over the Langley Thunder on Thursday night at the Queen’s Park Arena.
The win improves the ‘Bellies record to 7-8 as they chase the Thunder, now 8-6, for fourth place. However, the Thunder still have a game in hand coming down the home stretch.
New Westminster will finish off the season with games against the Burnaby Lakers, Maple Ridge Burrards and the Coquitlam Adanacs. Meanwhile, the Thunder have the Adanacs, Victoria Shamrocks twice and the Lakers.
The win is also New Westminter’s third in a row and they’ve downed a couple of giants in the Thunder and the Shamrocks.
A big first period for the Salmonbellies
It didn’t take long for mistakes to begin adding up for the Thunder. Connor Robinson took a delay of game penalty 48 seconds into the game. Haiden Dickson potted one home 59 seconds into the power play to put the Salmonbellies up 1-0. Jason Jones would put in New Westminster’s second goal at 2:18.
Robinson would make up for his earlier penalty to score at 5:52 on the power play to get the Thunder back within one. That only woke up the ‘Bellies’ offence as Jimmy McBride bulged the twine eight seconds later.
Ethan Forgrave found the back of the net at 9:24 and the upset was on as New Westminster jumped out to a 4-1 lead.
The goals kept coming fast and furious as Chase Scanlan scored 19 seconds later and Dane Dobbie potted one at 10:46 to game Langley back within one 4-3.
McBride and Dickson rounded out the first period scoring to make it 6-3 for the ‘Bellies at the break.
Thunder in trouble
Mitch Jones scored shorthanded at 5:21 and Dickson scored his hat trick goal at 8:54 to cap off a four-goal run between the first and second periods as the ‘Bellies began to run away with the score 8-3.
With Ilija Gajic in the box for holding for New Westminster, Robert Church scored six seconds into the power play to make it 8-4 heading into the third period.
Langley’s comeback falls short
The third period remained scoreless until the 11:35 marker with Drew Belgrave coming through for the Salmonbellies.
Down five, Langley pulled goaltender Frank Scigliano for the extra attacker. At first, it worked as Erik Maas scored with 6:05 left to play. Dane Dobbie would also score with the extra attacker with 3:09 left to make it 9-6 for New Westminster.
Mitch Jones capped off the pivotal win with an empty-net marker with 11 seconds left in the game to make the final 10-6.
- Zach Higgins, New Westminster Salmonbellies
- Ethan Forgrave, New Westminster Salmonbellies
- Haiden Dickson, New Westminster Salmonbellies
New Westminster Salmonbellies
Mitch Jones, 2g 2a
Haiden Dickson, 3g 1a
Ethan Forgrave, 1g 3a
Connor Robinson, 1g 2a
Robert Church, 1g 2a
Colin Munro, 2a
Erik Maas, 1g 1a
Dane Dobbie, 2g
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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.