“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The New Westminster Salmonbellies traveled to Cam Neely Arena to take on the Maple Ridge Burrards in WLA action Tuesday night. The Salmonbellies needed two wins and two Langley losses to have any chance of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, Maple Ridge was looking for just their second win of an otherwise forgettable season in their home finale.

In a game that consisted of two runs and plenty of penalty minutes, New Westminster won 8-5 to improve to 9-8 on the season. However, Langley’s victory over Burnaby on Tuesday night eliminated the Salmonbellies from playoff contention. New Westminster plays their finale at Coquitlam on Thursday. Maple Ridge ends their season at 1-17, having lost their 15th straight game.

Salmonbellies run out to big lead

The first run of the game belonged to the Salmonbellies, as they rattled off eight unanswered goals through the first 38-plus minutes of the game. Colton Clark opened the scoring at 4:49, followed by a shorthanded goal from Haiden Dickson at 7:20. Jordan McBride (13:08; power play) and Dickson’s second (15:06) made it 4-0 after one period. Things started to get chippy after Dickson’s second goal, as three 10-minute penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct were assessed. Dickson would notch his hat trick at 3:31 of the second period. Jason Jones (15:03) and Silas Richmond (18:20) would follow to make it 8-0. However, New Westminster’s scoring would go silent the rest of the game.

Burrards mount a run as Salmonbellies go silent

Maple Ridge would finally find the back of the net when Will Clayton scored at 18:41 of the second period. Ilija Gajic and Nash Moog dropped the gloves after Clayton’s goal, each getting fighting majors. More fireworks would ensue at the end of the second period, with a staggering TEN unsportsmanlike conduct penalties being assessed at the 20:00 mark. Four of those were two-minute minors, while two were 10-minute misconducts. The last four were of the game misconduct variety, resulting in ejections for Mitch Jones and Jason Jones of New West, and Rhys Blake and Kevin Reid for Maple Ridge.

Fortunately, the third period would see more goals than penalties. Maple Ridge tried to get back into the game with a pair from Dylan McIntosh (4:17; 6:23) and a pair from Dennon Armstrong (7:29, power play; 12:32) to make it 8-5. But the scoring, as well as the Salmonbellies’ playoff hopes, would end there.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Haiden Dickson (New Westminster) – 3g, 4a

2nd Star: Nate Faccin (Maple Ridge) – 38 saves, 0.826 sv %

3rd Star: Zach Higgins (New Westminster) – 44 saves, 0.898 sv %

Other Stats of Note

Shots: New Westminster 46; Maple Ridge 49

Faceoff wins: New Westminster 9, Maple Ridge 7

Penalty minutes: New Westminster 83; Maple Ridge 55

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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.