Thunder clinch a playoff spot

Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Langley Thunder were able to clinch a WLA playoff spot with a 14-8 road win over the Burnaby Lakers on Tuesday night at the Bill Copeland Arena.

Langley’s win improves them to 11-6 with one game left in the regular season. Fifth-place New Westminster Salmonbellies defeated the Maple Ridge Burrards as well on Thursday night but ran out of games with a 9-8 record heading into their finale.

The win was also huge for Langley as they are also in the hunt for first place. Langley takes on the 12-5 Victoria Shamrocks Wednesday night. A win would put them in a tie with both Victoria and the 12-6 Nanaimo Timbermen for first place.

The final game of the regular season on Thursday features the Salmonbellies taking on the Coquitlam Adanacs. If Coquitlam wins that game, all four teams heading into the playoffs will have a 12-6 record. A statement put out by the WLA said the process of the tiebreaker would be head-to-head, total wins and goals for and against.

Falling to 4-14, the Burnaby Lakers were simply playing for pride.

Low scoring first period

Onto the game action. The Thunder jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one period of play in a low-scoring affair.

The game was held 0-0 until Langley got on the goal first with 4:57 left in the period. Colin Munro took a pass from goaltender Frank Scigliano to score on transition to make it 1-0.

Burnaby replied 28 seconds later with Zach Gould feeding Mark Yingling for the equalizer.

The Lakers would take a too many men call at 17:38 and, 17 seconds into the power play, Dane Dobbie scored the go-ahead goal. Chase Scanlan would follow that up with 42 seconds left in the period to make it 3-1.

Langley pulls away in the second

Pearson Willis opened the second period scoring 34 seconds into the frame to get the Lakers back within one. Connor Watson scored for the Lakers at 3:51 to tie up the game 3-3.

Langley and, in particular, Dane Dobbie restored the Thunder’s two-goal lead. Dobbie scored shorthanded at 6:39 and got his hat trick goal at 9:10 to make it 5-3.

Nick Dos Santos took the draw for the Lakers after Dobbie’s goal and replied five seconds later. However, the Thunder would then go on a five-goal run.

Scanlan made the score 6-4 at 11:22 and Munro scored 33 seconds later to make it 7-4.

Robert Church found the back of the net at 15:41 and then Connor Robinson would score a pair to finish off the five-goal run to make it 10-4.

Laszlo Henning reduced the Thunder’s lead to 10-5 with 1:30 left to play in the second. Church put the Thunder back up by six with 47 seconds left to play and Yingling rounded out the scoring with 21 seconds left to make the second 11-6 for Langley.

Playoff spot on the line for Langley

Both teams exchanged goals in the third period, which suited the Langley Thunder just fine.

Curtis Dickson opened the scoring for Langley at 4:45 of the third. The Lakers replied right back 35 seconds later with Trevayne Hunter finding the back of the net for Burnaby.

Scanlan scored his hat-trick goal 33 seconds after that at the 5:53 mark to put Langley up 13-7.

Brandon Luitwieler scored unassisted for the Lakers at 10:16, but Burnaby couldn’t sustain the momentum. Robinson rounded out the scoring on the power play with 4:45 left in the game to clinch Langley’s playoff spot with a 14-8 win.

Three Stars

  1. Dane Dobbie, Langley Thunder
  2. Cal Slade, Langley Thunder
  3. Mark Yingling, Burnaby Lakers

Top Scorers

Burnaby Lakers

Mark Yingling, 2g 2a

Toron Eccleston, 3a

Laszlo Henning, 1g 1a

Trevayne Hunter, 1g 1a

Connor Watson, 1g 1a

Langley Thunder

Dane Dobbie, 3g 4a

Robert Church, 2g 4a

Curtis Dickson, 1g 4a

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Shawn Slaght
Shawn Slaght

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.