Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
A late charge by the Langley Thunder on Friday night lifted them to a 13-12 win over the Victoria Shamrocks in a comeback thriller.
Langley trailed for the majority of this game, but a late-three goal run, including two from Chase Scanlan, would prove to be the difference.
The Thunder got solid goaltending out of Steve Fryer, as he stopped 48 of 60 shots in the win. On the other side of the floor, Pete Dubenski stopped 32 of 45 shots in the loss.
This game had huge playoff implications. The Thunder improved to 10-6 as they try to hold off the 8-8 New Westminster Salmonbellies for the fourth and final playoff spot. New Westminster holds the season series against Langley 2-1.
Both teams have two games to go and the magic number is now one. One Langley win or one New Westminster loss and the Thunder clinch the final playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Victoria drops to 11-5 in their battle for first place. They remain tied with the 11-6 Coquitlam Adanacs with one game in hand over Coquitlam. The Nanaimo Timbermen continue to lead after finishing their regular season at 12-6, but Victoria has two games in hand and Coquitlam has one.
It’s game time!
Victoria took control of the first period, as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Jesse King started off the scoring at 2:17, followed by Chris Wardle at 3:34. Jake Foster took advantage of a power play at 5:04 to cap off a three-goal run for the Shamrocks.
Langley finally got on the board at the 9:42 mark with Dane Dobbie finding the back of the net to make it 3-1 for Victoria.
Liam Phillips would take a late holding call for Victoria, but Dallas Wade would find a shorthanded marker at 16:23 as the Shamrocks held a three-goal lead heading into the second period.
Thunder narrow the gap in the second
A strong start to the second period would get Langley right back into this game. Scanlan opened the scoring at 1:34, followed by a power play by Dobbie and a marker from Connor Robinson to cap a three-goal run to tie up the game.
Marshal King would restore Victoria’s lead at the 11:55 mark on the power play. However, Langley would make up for the mistake with Erik Maas scoring 25 seconds later.
The two teams continued to exchange goals with Marshal King scoring again at 13:58. Dylan Kinnear scored his first of the game at 15:39 for Langley and we were back tied 6-6.
Phillips would round out the scoring with an individual effort with 2:26 left in the period to give a 7-6 edge to the Shamrocks heading into the final frame.
A battle to the finish
Knowing the importance of this game in the playoff picture, both teams went toe-to-toe in the third period to complete the comeback thriller for Langley.
Jordan Daniel opened the scoring 20 seconds into the period on an unassisted goal for Langley to tie the game 7-7. Two minutes later, Marshal King scored his hat trick goal to once again give Victoria the lead.
Special teams then kicked in for both teams. Maas scored on the power play at 6:04 to tie it up. Victoria replied with their own power-play goal at 7:25 from Wardle.
Langley kept battling to keep the game close. Robinson tied up the game 9-9 at 8:36, but Brad McCulley replied at 10:04 to regain Victoria’s lead.
Scanlan would take a transition feed from Fryer to score at 11:23 and we were tied up again 10-10.
Victoria flexed their muscles with a late two-goal run. Jackson Nishmura scored shorthanded followed by another shorty by Steve Priolo seven seconds later at the 13:25 mark to take a 12-10 lead.
But the wheels would fall off for Victoria in the final five minutes of the game. Robinson got Langley back within one at 14:59 and Scanlan tied it up with 3:29 left to play.
With 1:14 left in regulation, Scanlan scored the game-winner unassisted to lead Langley to the win and a comeback thriller.
- Chase Scanlan, Langley Thunder
- Marshal King, Victoria Shamrocks
- Chris Wardle, Victoria Shamrocks
Marshal King, 3g 4a
Chris Wardle, 2g 2a
Jesse King, 1g 2a
Jake Foster, 1g 2a
Chase Scanlan, 4g 5a
Connor Robinson, 3g 3a
Dane Dobbie, 2g 4a
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.