Maple Ridge Beats Burnaby To Move Into Second Place

The Maple Ridge Burrards traveled to Bill Copeland Arena in Burnaby to face the Lakers in Week 7 of the WLA. Maple Ridge was playing their second of three games this week, having upset New Westminster the night before. The Lakers are reeling after starting the season 3-1, including squandering a late 9-7 lead to Nanaimo Tuesday night in what ended as a 9-9 tie. Burnaby’s mid-season struggles continued, as the Burrards used an 8-goal second period to catapult them to a 13-9 win. Maple Ridge also catapulted into second place in the WLA standings, evening their record at 6-6.

Maple Ridge

Abundance of penalties hurt, then help Maple Ridge

The first period would end in a 4-4 tie, and while the Burrards would get even strength goals, they would also rack up penalties. Burnaby would capitalize on those miscues, getting power play goals from Ben McDonald (9:15), Jacob Dunbar (12:49), and Ben Stewart (19:52), in addition to a goal from Thomas Vela (8:00). Maple Ridge countered with Marcus Klarich (1:09), Dylan McIntosh (6:21), Garret Winter (8:42), and Ryan Jones (14:24).

Fortunes would reverse in the second period as the Lakers, who are the least penalized team in the league, uncharacteristically took 12 minutes in penalties. Burnaby’s undisciplined play led to four power play goals for the Burrards as they outscored the Lakers 8-4 in the second period. Maple Ridge jumped out to a 7-4 lead on even-strength goals from Trevor Funk (0:53), Isaac Ngyou (1:23), and Jones’s second (2:28). Dunbar (5:31 shorthanded) cut the lead to two, but Klarich netted his second (6:33 power play) to make it 8-5. Dunbar scored another shorthanded goal 31 seconds later to pull within two again, but Drew Andre (9:35 power play) and Klarich (10:18) made it a 10-6 Maple Ridge lead. Vela (14:49) scored the Lakers’ third shorthanded goal of the period before the Burrards tacked on two more power play goals: Winter’s second (18:19) and Klarich’s fourth of the night (19:58).

Are the Burrards the real deal?

Winter scored his hat trick goal (3:45 third period) to extend Maple Ridge’s lead to 13-7. Goals from Dunbar (4:55) and McDonald (18:59) narrowed the gap to four, but Burnaby could get no closer. Gordie Phillips went 23 for 25 at the faceoff dot for Burnaby, Dunbar (4g, 2a) was named 3rd Star of the Game, and the Lakers fired 62 shots on net. However, Burnaby are now 0-5-1 in their last six games, and sit in last place in the standings. They’ll look to reverse the trend in a rematch at Maple Ridge on Tuesday before taking on the undefeated league-leading Victoria Shamrocks on Friday at The Q Centre.

Klarich (4g, 4a) and McIntosh (1g, 6a) earned 1st and 2nd Star of the Game honors, respectively. The Burrards host Coquitlam Sunday at Cam Neely Arena, with a chance to sweep all three of their Week 7 games and climb above the .500 mark. Maple Ridge then hosts Burnaby Tuesday.

The Burrards are the only team besides Victoria with a .500 or better record, and their goal differential is better than every other team in the WLA except Victoria. One issue they could use some improvement on is their discipline – they currently have the most PIM of any team in the WLA. However, they have already played all three of their games against Victoria (going 0-3 but nearly pulling off an upset in Week 1, losing 6-5) and are now 2-0 versus New Westminster. With a favorable schedule remaining, it’s not impossible to see Maple Ridge go into the playoffs as the #2 seed.

“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.