Mitch Jones had three goals and six assists as the New Westminster Salmonbellies beat the Langley Thunder 13-8 in Game 2 of the WLA Finals Friday night from the Langley Events Centre. The best of seven series is now tied 1-1, with each team winning a road game. Game 3 will be played at Queen’s Park Arena Sunday night.

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‘Bellies hold slim lead after two periods

Jones opened the scoring for New Westminster at 4:26. Dylan Kinnear (11:52) equalized for Langley, but Will Malcom (16:35) gave the Salmonbellies a 2-1 edge after 20 minutes of play. Goals from Haiden Dickson (0:47) and Keegan Bal (4:21 power play) pushed the lead to 4-1. Jones recorded assists on both goals.

Dane Dobbie (4:49) pulled the Thunder within two before Patrick Shoemay (9:15 power play) and Kevin Crowley (10:14) increased New Westminster’s lead to 6-2. Langley then went on a three-goal run to close the gap. Chase Scanlan (11:34), Robert Church (12:10), and Connor Robinson (18:47 shorthanded) made it 6-5 entering the final period.

Jones takes over in third period

Goals from Brandon Goodwin (2:49 shorthanded) and Jones (5:09) gave the Salmonbellies an 8-5 lead. However, Langley tied the game with three goals in a span of 55 seconds. Clay Scanlan (6:37), Robinson (7:17), and Dobbie (7:32) leveled the game at 8-8. New Westminster then responded with a five-goal run of their own. Crowley scored his second (8:17), then Jones notched his hat trick (10:22). Will Malcom (11:08) followed, then Jones assisted on Dickson’s second and third goals (11:53; 14:57) extending the lead to 13-8. Langley was unable to recover and take control of the series.

Jones (3g, 6a) was named 1st Star of the Game, and Keegan Bal (1g, 6a) got the nod for 2nd Star for the Salmonbellies. Chase Scanlan (1g, 3a) took home 3rd Star honors for Langley. Shots were even at 48 apiece, with Zach Higgins turning aside 40 shots for New Westminster in the win. Matt Abbott went 17 of 24 at the faceoff dot for the Thunder, outdueling Anthony Courcelle.

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“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 covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.