Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network
A huge third period lifted the Langley Thunder to a 12-4 win over the Nanaimo Timbermen on Friday night in Langley to take Game 1 of the WLA championship final.
Frank Scigliano continued to impress during summer ball, as he stopped 61 of 65 shots in the win. Meanwhile, Langley outscored Nanaimo 6-0 in the third period with Scigliano stopping all 27 shots he faced. It total, the Thunder ended the game on an eight-goal run.
It was also a depleted lineup for the Thunder, with Robert Church out and they were also without the services of Dane Dobbie on Friday night. But the callups rose to the occasion. Particularly, Matt Abbott had a goal and an assist, while Noah Armitage added a goal to help Langley take Game 1.
For Nanaimo, their offence sputtered. Although they managed a lot of shots on the net, Jon Phillips scored three of the Timbermen’s four goals.
Tight game out of the gate
Right off the start, it was a close game as was expected between these two teams. Nanaimo scored on their first shot of the game 38 seconds in. Kris Veltman found Adam Wiedemann from long-range and Wiedemann buried it past Scigliano.
The Thunder would then score on their next three shots on Timbermen goaltender Devlin Shanahan. Connor Robinson scored at 1:43 through traffic to make it 1-1. Dylan Kinnear would make it 2-1 at 2:36 as he dove through the crease.
Thirty-two seconds later Curtis Dickson’s shot snuck by Shanahan to give Langley a 3-1 cushion. Erik Maas rounded out the four-goal run of Langley as he put a quick stick away on the power play at 7:40.
Phillips rounded out the scoring at the buzzer on the power play to make the score 4-2 for Langley heading into the first intermission.
Thunder begins to pull away in the second
Both defences stood tall for the opening half of the second period, while Scigliano and Shanahan kept their teams in the game. No one got on the board until the 11:04 mark of the second with Phillips scoring on a quick, long-range shot. Phillips would add another on a wild play at 12:35 to tie up the game 4-4. Evan Messenger had a point-blank shot that had Scigliano’s glove and stick flying to make the save. The ball bounced off the back boards with Phillips picking up the rebound and finding the open net.
After that, though, Nanaimo would go scoreless for the next 27:25. Curtis Dickson, fresh off signing a new contract with the San Diego Seals, put the Thunder up 5-4 with mere seconds left on the shot clock at 13:21.
Dickson would round out the second-period scoring diving through the crease with 5:01 left to make it 6-4.
Langley dominates third period
Keegan Bell opened the third-period scoring at 1:48 with a beauty. He went coast-to-coast and used Chase Scanlan as a decoy to put one past Shanahan.
Robinson added to the tally, shooting around a screen at 7:15 to make the score 8-4 for the Thunder. Callup Noah Armitage got in on the action at 9:41 as his shot went five-hole on Shanahan.
Dickson scored his fourth on the night at 11:48 and Shanahan’s night between the pipes was done. Charles Claxton finished off the night, allowing two goals on four shots.
Callup Matt Abbott scored unassisted with 2:01 left to play and Scanlan rounded out the scoring with 1:09 left to help Langley take Game 1 of the series.
Nanaimo will look to even up the series on their home floor on Sunday night for Game 2.
- Connor Robinson, Langley Thunder
- Matt Abbott, Langley Thunder
- Curtis Dickson, Langley Thunder
Connor Robinson, 2g 6a
Curtis Dickson, 4g 1a
Dylan Kinnear, 1g 3a
Chase Scanlan, 1g 3a
Jon Phillips, 3g
Colton Lidstone, 2a
Adam Wiedemann, 1g 1a
Don’t forget to check us out at a special time this week. We’ll be on the air Saturday afternoon at 4 pm (ET)
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.