Game 2 Recap: Bellies battle back, even series at one

by Gary Ahuja

Langley Thunder's Matt Abbott wins a face-off during Game 2 of the Western Lacrosse Association Finals on Friday (August 18) night at Langley Events Centre against the visiting New Westminster Salmonbellies. The Salmonbellies evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece following a 13-8 victory. Ryan Molag LEC photo

Five unanswered goals to end the game sent the New Westminster Salmonbellies to a 13-8 victory, evening the Western Lacrosse Association Finals at one game apiece.

Langley trailed 8-5 early in the third period but scored three goals in 55 seconds to pull even. The jubilation was short-lived however, as the visiting Salmonbellies ended the game on a 5-0 run. The teams were playing in Game 3 of the best-of-seven championship series on Friday night at Langley Events Centre.

“We don’t hang our heads; we take a look at what happened and get ready for the next game,” said Thunder coach Ian Poole.

“We have a ‘what’s next mentality'. You can’t win them all and today wasn’t our day. This is going to be a battle that is going to take a lot of guts and grit to win. We need to buckle down and be prepared for every game.”

New Westminster led from start to finish and used superior special teams in the victory, scoring twice with the man advantage while Langley’s power play was held in check. Each team did manage one short-handed goal.

Mitch Jones led New Westminster with a three-goal, nine-point game and was the first star while teammate Keegan Bal was star No. 2 with one goal and seven points. Kevin Crowley (2-4), Will Malcom (2-3) and Haiden Dickson (3-1) also having big games for the Bellies. In goal, Zach Higgins made 40 saves.

Connor Robinson and Dane Dobbie each scored twice for Langley with Chase Scanlan earning the third star with a goal and four points. Robert Church (1-2), Clay Scanlan (1-1) and Dylan Kinnear (1-0) had the other Thunder goals. Frank Scigliano stopped 35 of the 48 New Westminster shots.

The series resumes on Sunday (August 20) at New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena for Game 3 before the teams return to Langley Events Centre Tuesday (August 22) for the series’ fourth game. Game five is set for August 24 in New Westminster.

Friday’s game was also the Thunder’s annual Tessa Beauchamp Night with the team wearing special jerseys which were auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting the Tessa Beauchamp Foundation.

Members of Tessa Beauchamp's family was hand for the Thunder's annual Tessa Beauchamp Night where they auction off special game-worn jerseys with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Tessa Beauchamp Foundation. Ryan Molag LEC photos

The jerseys raised $4625.

“Tessa was really connected with lacrosse (through the Buchan family) and this is a tradition that has been going on for 10-plus years and it is always a really special night,” said Tessa’s father Steve, adding that several family members drove back early from the Shuswap just so they could attend the game.

The jerseys were sponsored by Mike Vanichuk Transport Co. Ltd. and produced by X-Treme Threads.

For more on the Foundation, please visit