After Week 1 of the WLA season, the Maple Ridge Burrards were atop the standings at 2-0. They doubled their win total from last season immediately, and a major turnaround appeared to be in sight. Fast forward to the final week of the regular season. Maple Ridge sits in sixth place, having gone 1-11-1 since the opening week. The Burrards’ woes continued in the final week, as they dropped two more games on Thursday and Friday. They have now lost eight straight games to fall to 3-13-1.
Burrards @ Salmonbellies – Queen’s Park Arena – Thursday 7/27
The Burrards fell 12-7 to the New Westminster Salmonbellies Thursday night. New Westminster jumped out to a 6-2 lead after one period, matching goals with Maple Ridge the rest of the way. Kevin Crowley (1g, 5a) earned 1st Star of the Game honors for the Salmonbellies, while Keegan Bal’s 4 goals were good enough for 3rd Star honors. Ryan Jones (1g, 3a) took home 2nd Star honors for Maple Ridge. The Burrards outshot the Salmonbellies 51-47, but Zach Higgins made 44 saves for New Westminster in the victory. If New Westminster beats Nanaimo Saturday, they will claim the top seed for the playoffs, pushing Langley to the #2 seed.
Burrards @ Shamrocks – The Q Centre – Friday 7/28
The Burrards faced 4th-place Victoria the following evening, dropping a 12-6 decision. Once again, a slow start doomed Maple Ridge. They trailed 7-3 after 20 minutes of play, and were unable to catch up over the final two periods. Tom Vaesen (3g, 2a) led the way for Victoria, earning 1st Star honors. Chris Wardle (1g, 5a) and Marshal King (3g, 1a) were named 2nd and 3rd Star of the game, respectively. Ryan Jones (2g, 1a) and Mitch McDole (2g) led the Burrards in scoring, and Brandon Humphrey turned aside 39 of 51 shots in the loss. Maple Ridge concludes their season at home Monday night against the Coquitlam Adanacs.
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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.