The Langley Thunder traveled to Bill Copeland Arena in Burnaby to take on the Lakers in a Friday night WLA tilt. The Thunder were looking to bounce back from a loss to Nanaimo two days earlier. That loss, coupled with two wins by New Westminster this week, meant Langley and New West were suddenly tied in the win column for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Thunder squandered a six-goal lead, but closed the game on a four-goal run to defeat Burnaby 11-7. With the win, Langley improves to 7-5 and remains a game ahead of New Westminster, with two games in hand. Burnaby’s fourth straight loss drops them to 3-9, keeping them in sixth place and all but silencing any playoff hopes.

Photo Credit: Garrett James

Thunder Strike Early But Pay a Price

The first period was all Thunder, despite both teams putting 16 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. Six of Langley’s shots found the back of the net, while Thunder goalie Frank Scigliano turned away every Burnaby attempt. Dane Dobbie opened the scoring for Langley at 1:37. Dylan Kinnear (4:32) and Connor Robinson (5:28) followed up before Dobbie scored his second of the night at 6:13 to extend the lead to four.

Robinson would add his second (8:12) on a power play, and Colin Munro (10:33) would score shorthanded to make it 6-0 in favor of the Thunder. However, the early lead was tempered later in the quarter when Dobbie fell to the floor during a shift, appearing to have suffered a non-contact injury to his knee. He spent several minutes on all fours on the floor before making his way to the locker room under his own power. The extent of his injury and upcoming game availability are not known at this time.

Photo Credit: Garrett James

Burnaby Surges in the Second

The Dobbie injury seemed to change the tempo of the game in Burnaby’s favor, as the Lakers outscored Langley 6-1 in the second period. Shots also favored Burnaby 22-17 in the second frame. Toron Eccleston (3:39) finally solved Scigliano to get the Lakers on the board. Kinnear responded with his second goal of the game to restore the six-goal lead for Langley at 7-1.

From there, the Lakers would close out the period with five straight goals. James Rahe (11:13) and Connor Watson (11:28) would score power play markers 15 seconds apart. Kieran Mckay (14:43) would add a shorthanded goal. Rahe would then add two more (17:32; 18:22 power play) to make it 7-6 heading into the second intermission.

Photo Credit: Garrett James

Thunder Regroup in the Third

Boedy Shields tied the game for Burnaby at 3:15, but Scigliano would shut the door on the Lakers the rest of the game. Langley’s offence would find life again, sealing the victory with a four-goal run. Robert Church (5:42) and Curtis Dickson (6:28) put the Thunder up 9-7. Robinson’s hat-trick goal (9:09; power play) and another shorthanded goal from Dickson (16:52) put the game out of reach for Burnaby.

The Lakers head to Vancouver Island to face the 8-3 Victoria Shamrocks this Sunday at 5:00 pm PT. Burnaby then heads back home to the Swamp to host league leaders Nanaimo (9-5) on Tuesday 7/19. The Thunder are at Maple Ridge this Sunday, then play in New Westminster Thursday 7/21 in a game with major playoff implications.

Three Stars of the Game

  • 1st Star: Connor Robinson (3g, 5a)
  • 2nd Star: James Rahe (3g)
  • 3rd Star: Frank Scigliano (50 saves, 0.877 sv %)

Other Stats of Note

  • Shots: Langley 46; Burnaby 57
  • Nathan Bell (Langley): 10 of 20 on faceoffs
  • Philip Buque (Burnaby): 8 of 16 on faceoffs
  • Curtis Dickson (Langley): 2g, 3a
  • Robert Church (Langley): 1g, 4a

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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.