The New Westminster Salmonbellies visited The Q Centre in Victoria Friday to face the Shamrocks in Week 5 WLA action. New Westminster was looking to keep pace with the league-leading Langley Thunder, so a road win on the Island would go a long way for them. Meanwhile, Victoria was hoping to create more separation between themselves and the bottom half of the league. Last week, they lost a late two-goal lead against Maple Ridge in what resulted in a rare tie game.
Kevin Crowley and Haiden Dickson each had 5 points in an 8-7 Salmonbellies triumph in front of 2,104 attendees. New Westminster’s win streak has now reached six games, and they remain tied with Langley for first place at 7-1. Victoria falls to 4-2-1 on the season. It’s too early to speculate, but that tie game could have implications for or against the Shamrocks as the season moves past the halfway point.
New Westminster continues to reap rewards from Crowley, Martel
Crowley and Jordan McBride set up Dickson (4:14) to open the scoring for New Westminster. The Shamrocks responded with goals from Brad McCulley (4:37) and Cole Pickup (7:19) for a 2-1 lead. Offseason acquisition Ryan Martel continued to shine for New Westminster, leveling the game with a power play marker at 8:41. Crowley, who could not return to his hometown team last season due to injury, scored at 18:54 to restore a one-goal lead for the Salmonbellies after one period.
Dickson (with Crowley assisting) struck again quickly in the second period (0:44) to give New Westminster a 4-2 edge. Victoria then put together a three-goal run of their own. McCulley’s second (3:43 shorthanded), Marshal King (14:01), and Pickup’s second (15:17) gave the Shamrocks a 5-4 lead. Just over a minute later (16:24), Martel tallied his second, again with Crowley assisting, to tie the game going into the second intermission.
Late run by New Westminster earns them sixth straight win
Crowley picked up his fourth assist setting up Will Malcom (4:43) to give the Salmonbellies a one-goal lead. Victoria would retake the lead in a span of 28 seconds, courtesy of Patrick Dodds (5:32) and King’s second goal of the game (6:00). However, Jordan McBride equalized for New Westminster at 7:40. McBride then set up Dickson’s hat-trick goal (13:42), which turned out to be the game winner.
Dickson (3g, 2a) was named 1st Star of the Game. Crowley took home 2nd Star honors with a goal and 4 assists on the night. Dodds (1g, 3a) earned the nod for 3rd Star of the Game. New Westminster hosts Langley on Thursday in a battle for first place, before traveling to Burnaby to play the Lakers on Friday June 30. The Shamrocks play at Burnaby tonight (Saturday), then at Langley next Wednesday before hosting Nanaimo on Friday.
Other Stats of Note
Shots: New Westminster 48; Victoria 43
Neil Tyacke made 36 saves in the win; he is now 5-0 in his starts this season for New Westminster.
Cam Dunkerley made 40 saves for Victoria in the loss.
McBride (New Westminster): 1g, 4a
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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.