'Bellies end Thunder win streak

by Gary Ahuja

Connor Robinson (left, in action against the New Westminster Salmonbellies on June 29) scored five times and set up two others but his Langley Thunder came up short 15-13 to the Salmonbellies on July 6. Ryan Molag LEC file photo

After trailing 7-1 in the first period, the Langley Thunder battled back to take a 12-10 lead early in the third period. But the host New Westminster Salmonbellies would score five of the final six goals, ending the Thunder's nine-game win streak with a 15-13 victory.

The game was played on Thursday night at New Westminster's Queen's Park Arena and leaves both teams with identical 10-2 records atop the Western Lacrosse Association standings. Both Salmonbellies losses have come at the hands of the Thunder.

Leading the way on Thursday night was the trio of Haiden Dickson (7+1), Will Malcom (1+7) and Keegan Bal (3+5) had matching eight-point games for New Westminster while Connor Robinson led the Thunder with five goals and two assists. 

Early on, it looked like New Westminster was going to run away with the game as they jumped ahead 3-0 in the first four minutes and 7-1 late in the opening period. But Dylan Kinnear got Langley's second goal just before intermission and the Thunder opened the middle stanza with a 6-0 run to tie things up at seven. The 'Bellies did recover to reclaim the lead at 10-8 with a period to play. The Thunder would again storm back to open the final frame with four unanswered goals -- Kinnear, Robinson and Jake Boudreau with a pair -- before New Westminster went ahead 13-12. Robert Church would pull Langley even at 13 with under six minutes to play but Dickon scored twice more to seal the victory.

While Robinson led the way with his seven-point game, Church (1+5) and Curtis Dickson (2+3) also had big games, while Kinnear (2+1) and Boudreau (2+0) scored two goals apiece and Chase Scanlan added one goal. Aden Walsh made 32 saves on 41 shots after taking over for Frank Scigliano in the first period. Scigliano made six saves on a dozen shots. 

In addition to the eight-point games of Malcom, Bal and Dickson, Ryan Martel (2+3), Jordan McBride (1+3) and Jason Jones (1+1) also found the back of the net for Salmonbellies. Zach Higgins made 32 saves on 51 shots.