The New Westminster Salmonbellies completed a 3-0 sweep of the Victoria Shamrocks with a 10-8 win at Queen’s Park Arena Wednesday night. New Westminster now advances to the WLA Finals, where they will meet the winner of the semifinal between Langley and Nanaimo. Game 4 of that series takes place Thursday night, with Langley up 2-1 in the best-of-five.
All hands on deck for New Westminster
Marshal King gave Victoria a brief lead, opening the scoring at 4:42. Mitch Jones found the equalizer less than two minutes later (6:30). Jason Jones (14:06) then gave New Westminster a brief lead before Tom Vaesen (15:30) tied it at 2-2 going into the first intermission.
Ryan Martel (3:16) put the Salmonbellies back on top in the second period, but Victoria responded with a three-goal run. Cole Pickup (9:17), Dylan Rehman (10:21), and Vaesen’s second (14:12) gave the Shamrocks a 5-3 lead. However, New Westminster would reel off three unanswered goals in the last five minutes of the period. Kevin Crowley (15:28), Jordan McBride (17:16), and Haiden Dickson (18:02) put the ‘Bellies up 6-5 after 40 minutes of action.
New Westminster moves on to WLA Finals
Casey Wilson (7:41) tied the game at 6-6 before New Westminster put together another three-goal run. Dickson’s second (8:01), Will Malcom (9:36), and Crowley’s second (10:54) gave the Salmonbellies a 9-6 lead. Pickup (11:28) and Brad McCulley (11:54) would score less than 30 seconds apart to pull Victoria within one. But Malcom would add his second goal for insurance (17:18), effectively putting an end to the Shamrocks’ season.
The Salmonbellies’ Mitch Jones (1g, 5a) was named 1st Star of the Game, while King (1g, 4a) got the 2nd Star nod for the Shamrocks. New Westminster goaltender Zach Higgins earned 3rd Star honors with 41 saves in the series-clinching win. Victoria outshot New Westminster 49-47; there were no power plays in the game.
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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.