‘Bellies playoff hopes still alive

Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The New Westminster Salmonbellies kept their playoff hopes alive on Thursday night with a 12-6 win over the Burnaby Lakers in WLA action.

Extending their win streak to four games, the Salmonbellies improved to 8-8 as they chase the 9-6 Langley Thunder for fourth place in the standings. New Westminster still has two games left this regular season, while Langley has a game in hand with three games.

The Lakers will miss the playoffs and wrap up their season on Aug. 2 when they host the Thunder.

New Westminster’s offence was relentless on Thursday night as they peppered Lakers’ goaltender Zak Boychuk with 56 shots. On the other side of the floor, Zach Higgins picked up the win by stopping 39 of 45 shots. Anthony Courcelle was dominant on the faceoff dot for the Salmonbellies, going 13 for 21 on draws.

A close first period

New Westminster jumped out to a 2-0 with Jordan Gilles opening the scoring at 6:19. Justin Salt followed that up at the 8:39 mark.

The Lakers kept themselves in the game with Saskatchewan product Zach Gould scoring at 9:09. Toron Eccleston added another 1:23 later to tie up the game 2-2.

Haiden Dickson rounded out the scoring with 4:30 left in the period to give the Salmonbellies a 3-2 advantage heading into the second period.

Floodgates open in the second

The Salmonbellies’ offence exploded in the second frame. Jordan McBride scored 22 seconds into the period as New Westminster would score four goals in the first 5:03. McBride would add a second, while Ethan Forgrave and Dickson would also find the back of the net.

The Lakers quickly replied to break up the five-goal run with Sam La Roue scoring at 5:28. Boedy Shields got on the scoresheet for the Lakers at 13:25 to make it 7-4 in favour of the ‘Bellies.

Dickson would once again have the last laugh, scoring with 2:34 left in the period to make it 8-4 for New Westminster heading into the final frame.

Playoff hopes in the balance

It was Nick Dos Santos who would get the Lakers on the board first in the third period, scoring at the 3:35 mark. But, with their playoff lives hanging in the balance, the Salmonbellies would not die.

Forgrave found the back of the net at 6:49 and Austin Ducommon scored his first ever WLA goal at 12:14 to make it 10-5 for the ‘Bellies.

Connor Watson temporarily stopped New Westminster’s momentum at 13:26, but it was short-lived. Dickson scored 55 seconds later and Forgrave scored his hat trick goal to round out the scoring.

Three Stars

  1. Haiden Dickson, New Westminster Salmonbellies
  2. Jordan Gilles, New Westminster Salmonbellies
  3. Ethan Forgrave, New Westminster Salmonbellies

Top Scorers

New Westminster Salmonbellies

Ethan Forgrave, 3g 3a

Haiden Dickson, 4g 2a

Mitch Jones, 5a

Burnaby Lakers

Toron Eccleston, 1g 2a

Pearson Willis, 2a

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Shawn Slaght
Shawn Slaght

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.